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Review backs handlบอล ดอนต มing involving Chinese swimmers

Hi | บอล ดอนต ม | Updated: 2024-07-23 14:02:43

FILE PHOTO: A WADA logo is seen at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 12, 2024. [Photo/Agencies]

An anti-doping audit review committee has backed the decision of World Aquatics not to appeal China Anti-Doping Agency's ruling of a 2021 contamination case involving 23 Chinese swimmers, after a thorough scrutiny of the matters.

The committee, established on May 3 upon request by World Aquatics, the swimming international body formerly known as FINA, was tasked with examining the process and procedures conducted by the governing body in addressing not only the case involving Chinese swimmers, but all doping cases under its jurisdiction.

The committee said in a lengthy report released on World Aquatics' website on Monday that the international body's handling of the case was appropriate and responsible in compliance with relevant rules and regulations.

"The Committee has not identified any irregularities, mismanagement or cover-up by FINA in its review of the TMZ Case or in its decision not to appeal the CHINADA decisions in that case," said the report.

"The process and procedure followed by FINA in 2021 was in accordance with both the operating procedures of FINA at that time, generally accepted operating procedures of other International Federations, and its obligations under the World Anti-Doping Code."

The 23 swimmers involved in the case, who tested positive for trimetazidine (TMZ) during a national championships in January 2021, were proven by a CHINADA investigation to have ingested the banned substance unwittingly after inadvertently being exposed to it at a hotel so that their tests returned positive results for an "extremely low concentration" of the substance.

After running thorough probes into the case, supported by external consultations, both World Aquatics and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had agreed on CHINADA's conclusion that it was a food contamination incident and decided not to appeal the ruling by the Chinese anti-doping authorities. No athletes involved in the incident were held accountable for intentional doping violations, neither any suspensions were imposed.

The audit review committee, comprised of five independent members chaired by professor Miguel Cardenal, a Spanish sports law expert at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, highlighted in its report that World Aquatics, or FINA back in 2021, did perform its duties conscientiously.

FINA requested the complete case file a few days after CHINADA reported its final decision to the governing body and WADA in mid-June 2021, and about two weeks later FINA authorized professor Jordi Segura, former director of a WADA-accredited laboratory in Barcelona and chair of the former FINA Doping Control Review Board, to review the file and provide an expert opinion on the scientific aspects of the matter, according to the report.

"Within approximately one week, Prof. Segura provided his opinion to Legal Counsel on the specific scientific questions he had been asked to answer. His opinion was that contamination of food or food products in the dining kitchen of the athletes' hotel was more likely than not the source of the positive tests," said the report.

"Upon review of Prof. Segura's report and opinion, FINA consulted both WADA and external Legal Counsel to obtain advice on the matter. Following these consultations, FINA confirmed that no appeal was warranted under the circumstances and the matter was closed."

The case files, which were supposed to be kept confidential after having been concluded as contamination, were somehow leaked to New York Times and the German radio network ARD, which published hyped reports on an otherwise would-remain-undisclosed case in April, three months ahead of the Paris Olympic Games, which open on July 26.

"Under the current World Anti-Doping Code, decisions can only be published without the athlete's consent if an anti-doping rule violation was found to have been committed. Otherwise, the case must remain confidential. The advantage of this rule is obviously that it protects the athletes who did nothing wrong from having their name associated to doping in the public domain," the report said, supporting that the case was supposed to be kept confidential under current regulations.

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