WADA: We'll take action over historical Chinese doping claims, if warranted and feasible
The World Anti-Doping Agency said today that it will take action, if it is “warranted and feasible under the World Anti-Doping Code,” over new allegations that 10,000 of China’s athletes were involved in a systematic doping programme across all sports in the 1980s and 1990s, and that doping was responsible for all of the country’s medals won in major tournaments over the period.
WADA said in a statement: “As a first step, the Agency has asked its independent Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) team to initiate an investigative process in order to collect and analyze available information in coordination with external partners.”
The claims were made by Xue Yinxian, a 79-year-old Chinese whistleblower who is seeking political asylum in Germany. In a documentary aired by ARD, the country’s public-service broadcaster, Xue said: “In the 1980s and 90s, Chinese athletes on the national teams made extensive use of doping substances.
“Medals were tainted by doping – gold, silver and bronze. There must have been more than 10,000 people involved. People believed only in doping, anyone who took doping substances was seen to be defending the country. All international medals [won by Chinese athletes in that time] should be taken back.”
ARD said that it tried to contact the Chinese Olympic Committee and China’s sports ministry for a response to the claims, but never received a reply.
WADA said in today’s statement that it has seen the documentary, adding: “While WADA was only formed in November 1999 as the international, independent, agency tasked with combatting doping in sport, the Agency will ensure that, if action is warranted and feasible under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), the necessary and appropriate steps will be taken.”
It added: “The Code, which first came into being in 2003, is the core document that harmonizes anti-doping policies, rules and regulations across sports organizations and countries around the world. Prior to the Code, anti-doping efforts were disjointed and uncoordinated across sports and countries.”