WADA hands over case files on suspected Russian cheats

Montreal (AFP) –


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Thursday it has handed over the results of its investigations into hundreds of Russian athletes probed for doping offences to international federations for possible further action.

WADA said in a statement it had provided case packages on 298 athletes to 29 anti-doping organisations, 27 international federations and one major event organisation.

The agency's Intelligence & Invesigation arm had identified the pool of athletes last year after sifting through data and samples gathered from Russia's drug-tainted Moscow laboratory and the facility's Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

WADA said its investigators had briefed anti-doping organisations over two days this week to explain the contents of the packages that had been sent to them.

The agency said it will be for each relevant organisation to decide whether or not to treat each case as an anti-doping rule violation.

Gunter Younger, the director of WADA's investigations unit, said the handover of information had taken place after an "extremely challenging, long-running and multi-faceted investigation."

"The fact that we have moved to the results management phase now for the entire target group means we are another step closer to bringing those who cheated to justice," Younger said.

"This has always been the objective for us as we continue to do what is best for clean sport and athletes around the world."

WADA President Witold Banka, meanwhile, stressed that investigations against Russian wrongdoing were still ongoing.

"This is not the end of the road," Banka said in a statement, noting that re-analysis of suspect drug samples retrieved from the Moscow laboratory was still in progress.

"This re-analysis process, led by WADA, has already uncovered 57 cases that are in the results management phase," Banka said.

WADA, meanwhile, said that 153 of the 298 cases handed over to the 28 anti-doping organsiations were not affected by the alleged manipulation that led to Russia last year being declared non-compliant and slapped with a four-year ban from international sporting events.

Russia is challenging the ruling before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.