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Anfragen der ARD-Dopingredaktion Stellungnahmen zur "Akte China" in voller Länge

Stand: 20.04.2024 17:21 Uhr

Zum möglichen Vertuschungsfall um positive Dopingproben chinesischer Topschwimmer konfrontierte die ARD-Dopingredaktion betroffene Organisationen und Verbände. Hier gibt es die Antworten auf die Anfrage in voller Länge.

Welt-Anti-Doping-Agentur (WADA)

"WADA was notified in June 2021 of the decision by the China Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) to accept that a group of 23 Chinese swimmers had tested positive in early 2021 for trimetazidine (TMZ) after inadvertently being exposed to the substance through contamination. As it always does, WADA carefully reviewed the decision and, in this instance, requested the full case file. As part of its review, WADA consulted with scientific experts and external legal counsel to thoroughly test the contamination theory presented by CHINADA.

WADA ultimately concluded that it was not in a position to disprove the possibility that contamination was the source of TMZ and it was compatible with the analytical data in the file. WADA also concluded that, given the specific circumstances of the asserted contamination, the athletes would be held to have no fault or negligence. As such, and based on the advice of external counsel, WADA considered that an appeal was not warranted.

WADA Senior Director, Science and Medicine, Prof. Olivier Rabin, said: 'The WADA Science Department reviewed this case thoroughly in June and July 2021. Indeed, we even sought pharmacokinetic and metabolism information from the manufacturer of TMZ in assessing the plausibility of the contamination scenario that was presented to WADA. Ultimately, we concluded that there was no concrete basis to challenge the asserted contamination. Indeed, the contamination scenario was further supported by the combination of the consistently low concentrations of TMZ as well as no doping pattern with several athletes presenting multiple samples collected over the course of several days which fluctuated between negative and positive (and vice versa).'

In 2022, the International Testing Agency raised issues with WADA regarding a possible misreporting of the TMZ samples. This was independently reviewed by WADA Intelligence and Investigations Department, which concluded that proper procedures had been followed and that there was no evidence of wrongdoing. The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) then contacted WADA by email in April 2023 about the TMZ cases. It advised WADA of a tip from an unspecified source that the positive TMZ cases had been hidden.

This information was clearly erroneous in that the positive TMZ cases had been reported and decided by CHINADA, as well as thoroughly reviewed by both WADA and World Aquatics, nearly two years prior. USADA had also contacted WADA in 2020 (before the positive TMZ cases even arose) with respect to allegations (again from an unspecified source) of doping cover-ups within Chinese swimming. These allegations were (again) entirely unsubstantiated and WADA advised that the threshold to open an investigation was not met. However, WADA did offer to reassess the situation if USADA provided any evidence at all, which it did not. WADA I&I also offered to interview the USADA source but this offer was not taken up.

WADA Director, Intelligence and Investigations, Gunter Younger, said: 'At every stage, WADA I&I* followed all due process and diligently investigated every lead and line of enquiry in this matter. The information provided to us by USADA and others was reviewed on each occasion in line with our normal procedure, and assessed according to the criteria stipulated within our Confidential Source Policy. The data held by us clearly showed that there had been no attempt to hide the positive tests as they had been reported in the usual way by the Chinese authorities. Therefore, based on the available information and a lack of any credible evidence, the threshold for WADA I&I to open an investigation was not met.”

*Anmerkung der Redaktion: "WADA I&I"  ist die Abteilung "Intelligence & Investigations" der Welt-Anti-Doping-Agentur.

Chinesische Anti-Doping-Agentur (CHINADA) - Übersetzung aus dem Chinesischen

"Keiner der Athleten in dem Fall, nach dem Sie sich erkundigen, hat einen Dopingverstoß begangen. Gemäß den Bestimmungen des Welt-Anti-Doping-Codes darf die Anti-Doping-Organisation, wenn festgestellt wird, dass der Athlet oder eine andere Person keinen Doping-Verstoß begangen hat, die Entscheidung und die zugrunde liegenden Tatsachen nur dann veröffentlichen, wenn die Zustimmung des Athleten oder eines anderen Beteiligten dazu vorliegt."

World Aquatics - Schwimm-Weltverband (ehemals FINA)

As requested, here is the World Aquatics statement following your request for comment:

Due to confidentiality provisions consistent with the World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standard for Results Management, World Aquatics is limited in terms of what it may comment on either in detail or at all.

With regard to the Adverse Analytical Findings (AAFs) you have referred to, they were carefully considered by the FINA Doping Control Review Board. Materials relating to the source of the AAFs were subject to independent expert scrutiny retained by FINA. World Aquatics is confident that these AAFs were handled diligently and professionally, and in accordance with all applicable anti-doping regulations, including the World Anti-Doping Code.  

World Aquatics remains committed to the protection of clean athletes, the promotion of clean sport and to actively contribute to these causes in partnership with organisations including the International Testing Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

International Testing Agency (ITA)

"The International Testing Agency (ITA) can confirm having received confidential and anonymous information in the summer of 2021 regarding a number of positive results affecting a group of Chinese swimmers following some testing activities performed by CHINADA in the first half of 2021.

In parallel to a full assessment of the information received that remains active, the ITA conducted many targeted follow-up testing missions in 2021, 2022, 2023 and up until today. This is a standard procedure that the ITA puts in place whenever it receives confidential information which may impact the integrity of our partners’ sport competitions."


As always, we continue to urge anyone who has any suspicions to share them with us through our reporting platform REVEAL, as any information can potentially substantially advance the fight against doping.