FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018, file photo, Edwin Moses, chairman of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, speaks at a news conference during a White House event aimed at reforming the World Anti-Doping Agency, in Washington. Moses sent a tersely worded letter to leaders of the World Anti-Doping Agency, asking for an investigation into the culture at WADA that would expand beyond athletes' representative Beckie Scott's claim that she was bullied at a recent meeting. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WADA: Scott wasn't bullied but more interviews needed

November 14, 2018 - 8:33 am

World Anti-Doping Agency investigators found no evidence athletes' representative Beckie Scott was bullied at a recent meeting, but more people need to be interviewed to determine what happened.

Scott's bullying allegation has dominated much of the global anti-doping conversation since she revealed it last month, saying she was mistreated at a September meeting at which WADA's executive committee reinstated Russia's suspended anti-doping agency.

Scott disagreed with a decision to reinstate Russia's suspended anti-doping agency.

The committee met again Wednesday, this time in Baku, Azerbaijan, and received word that while investigators found there was no evidence that the bullying had taken place, they'd like to interview more people.

The committee rejected a call from U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chair Edwin Moses, who said a more thorough probe be conducted into the culture at WADA.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Moses wrote to WADA's president and director general, demanding an independent investigation into whether "WADA management has fostered and facilitated an open environment where the best interests of clean sport and the wellbeing of athletes may be freely discussed."

While the executive committee didn't go along with Moses' suggestion, "it was concluded that legal advice be sought by the Agency to help in determining a path forward," spokesman James Fitzgerald told AP. "WADA continues to take these matters very seriously."

Scott, an Olympic cross country skiing champion from Canada, resigned from the compliance review panel that recommended RUSADA's reinstatement, but remains chair of WADA's athletes' committee. She has stood out as one of the most forceful voices in favor of WADA taking a harder line against Russia since revelations of the doping scandal inside the country that tainted the Sochi Olympics.

"In short, the world realized that if a person of this unchallengeable integrity and character could feel bullied, belittled, disrespected and marginalized," Moses wrote of Scott, "that something is potentially seriously amiss with the way business at WADA is being conducted."

In another letter sent to WADA's leadership, this one by American runner Emma Coburn and Swedish biathlete Sebastian Samuelsson, the athletes challenged WADA to back its claim that RUSADA's reinstatement will lead to more Russian doping sanctions. WADA's key argument for reinstating the agency is that it will give officials access to testing data that can be used to corroborate suspected violations.

WADA has set a deadline of Dec. 31 for Russian authorities to turn over the data.

"We know that many cheating athletes are, and have been, competing on the world stage even (though) they were part of the Russian doping program, and that WADA is doing little to remedy that," the athletes write. "Can you tell us, the global athlete community, that the decision to render Russia compliant will lead to these people being dealt with appropriately, and if not, why not?"

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