Chinese swimming to be investigated by WADA


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will investigate allegations made in the British media that positive doping tests in Chinese swimming were covered up.

On Thursday, The Times newspaper reported claims that five positive tests were suppressed earlier this year to avoid controversy ahead of China's Olympic Games trials, due to be held next month.

China finished second in the swimming medal table at London 2012, with five gold medals throughout the Games.

A WADA statement on Thursday read: "The World Anti-Doping Agency acknowledges today's reports in The Times newspaper concerning new allegations of doping in Chinese swimming.

"In particular, The Times article cites whistleblower information alleging that five positive doping tests, from end-2015 and early 2016, were concealed ahead of next month's Olympic trials in China.

"Further to a request by the anonymous whistleblowers, The Times provided the relevant information to WADA, which we are currently scrutinising to determine the appropriate next steps.

"We are aware that FINA, swimming's global governing body, has confirmed that it is investigating these cases. As the global leader of clean sport, WADA is gathering the relevant information and monitoring the situation closely; in particular the follow up by FINA and the relevant Chinese anti-doping authorities.

"It should be noted that there are clear and specific rules for public disclosure of anti-doping rule violations, which are set out in the World Anti-Doping Code and that all signatories must follow.

"The Times article also cited concerns raised by the whistleblowers that they 'were unable to contact WADA due to state surveillance'. WADA acknowledges the courage that it takes to stand up to unethical practices and the value that such information offers to clean sport.  As such, the Agency has been working to enhance its whistleblower process so that athletes, their entourage and others can feel more protected when providing information via WADA's website.

"It is our hope that, with an enhanced process, more individuals with high-value information will be willing to come forward, enabling the Agency and its partners to actively pursue anti-doping rule violations that may otherwise go undetected.

"WADA also notes The Times' other allegations concerning a sanctioned coach who may still be coaching in China; along with, suggestions of infrequent testing of Chinese swimmers training in Australia. In addition to asking the newspaper for information to corroborate these allegations, the Agency is discussing the matter with FINA and the relevant anti-doping authorities in China.

"WADA is currently working to gather all the relevant evidence, and on that basis will act swiftly to ensure the rights of the clean athletes are protected."