World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Witold Bańka has declared that the organisation was “appalled” by the findings of McLaren’s team.
The McLaren report revealed that doping positives had been covered up, athletes who should have been banned won medals at world and continental levels, and suspensions were deliberately delayed by Aján’s “meddling” and interference in the IWF’s anti-doping programme.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has taken the first steps towards investigating dozens of doping positives that were said to have been “covered up” by its disgraced former President, Tamás Aján.
The IWF has passed on evidence to the International Testing Agency (ITA), which has begun an independent investigation into corruption exposed by the McLaren Independent Weightlifting Investigation
Evidence from the report was sent to WADA last week, after which it wrote to the IWF asking for “immediate action on all cases”.
That will not be possible as some happened too long ago for any disciplinary action to be taken.
WADA has also asked the McLaren team to share any findings that were not made public in the report, published on June 4.
Those findings, which may require further investigation, were sent in a separate report to the IWF’s Oversight and Integrity Commission, which is chaired by Interim President Ursula Papandrea.
“I welcome WADA’s support for the independent investigations that have already been carried out and that are ongoing, with the aim of uncovering wrongdoing and guiding future reforms,” Papandrea said.
WADA has started analysing information from the McLaren team, covering the period from 2009 to 2014, “to see what further action may be warranted in relation to anti-doping matters highlighted by the investigation”.
Azerbaijan and Turkey were among the nations that benefited from Aján’s corrupt practices, the McLaren report said.
There were 21 Turkish positives in one testing mission, but no suspensions – and additionally McLaren found “41 hidden cases and 10 possible other cases where the AAFs [adverse analytical findings] have not been followed through.”
Of two athletes who tested positive in 2010, believed to be Nurcan Taylan and Sibel Özkan, one won gold medals at World and European Championships, and the other won a World Championship silver, while both should have been suspended.
Taylan and Özkan, who also came up positive in the retesting of samples from the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, could not be pursued because of the statute of limitations in the WADA Code, which stood at eight years until 2015, when it was increased to 10.
As many of the “hidden” doping violations in
Papandrea said in a statement yesterday: “Professor McLaren’s team has been successful in bringing to light a number of cases where it may be possible to establish anti-doping rule violations.
“As WADA knows, the ITA has already received the necessary materials and is already conducting its own investigations, independent of the IWF.
“We are confident they will be thorough and rigorous.
“The IWF also welcomes WADA’s continued support in the development of an anti-doping programme which Professor McLaren has acknowledged would not allow for the problems of the past to occur.
“With the outsourcing of one of the last remaining parts of the IWF’s anti-doping work to the Anti-Doping Division of CAS [Court of Arbitration for Sport], a very significant measure of independence has been achieved.
“The principle of independence and external expertise is one that will continue to serve as a basis for the reforms at the IWF that are so clearly still needed.”