WADA Statement on Russian Swimming Doping Claims

Montreal, Mar 23, 2016: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is aware of the claims that appeared in today’s The Times newspaper that suggested “systematic drug use” in Russian swimming. These suggestions are of concern to WADA and its partners in the anti-doping movement; and, arrive at a time when trust in clean sport is already in a perilous state.

WADA will follow up by examining information provided by its Independent Commission which would corroborate The Times reports. On the basis of this, and potential information from other sources, WADA will make a decision regarding what level of inquiry is needed.

WADA has already written to the world swimming governing body, FINA. In particular, we are concerned by the allegations that Mr. Sergei Portugalov – who is currently facing a lifetime ban from working in athletics due to the Commission’s findings – may be working in swimming. It should be noted that, under the World Anti-Doping Code, such a lifetime sanction should also be recognized by all other International Sport Federations (IFs).

“There is no doubt that today’s disturbing assertions of orchestrated doping in Russian swimming should be scrutinized,” said WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie. “WADA and its partners are under no illusions about the challenges facing sport’s integrity today,” he continued. “Clean athletes are justifiably concerned that their rights are being eroded through the minority that choose to dope in sport.

“As a result of information and evidence collected, WADA will make an informed decision as to what form of inquiry is needed and who will conduct it.” —- WADA

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