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WADA To Keep Probing Charges It Bullied Opponents Of Russian Reinstatement

Olympic cross-country skiing champion Beckie Scott
Olympic cross-country skiing champion Beckie Scott

The World Anti-Doping Agency says it will continue its investigation into accusations that agency officials bullied prominent athletes who opposed its recent reinstatement of Russia.

The agency said on November 14 that the initial findings of an independent review "did not conclude that the alleged bullying had taken place," but it said it is taking these matters "very seriously."

"The executive committee agreed that given the seriousness of the allegations, a second phase should take place to allow the many people present at the meeting to be interviewed so that the matter could be concluded satisfactorily."

The accusations emerged last month when Beckie Scott, chair of the organization's Athlete Committee, claimed that she was "bullied" by some WADA officials over her opposition to reinstating Russia's anti-doping agency at a meeting in September.

The Olympic skiing champion's allegations were followed by athletics great Edwin Moses saying he was told to "shut up" at a recent meeting of world anti-doping chiefs when he called for broadening the investigation into the bullying claims.

WADA has denied that anyone told the two-time Olympic hurdling champion to keep quiet, claiming that if such remarks were made, it would have been reported by media that were covering the meeting.

Moses, who is chairman of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and chair of WADA's education committee, said on November 14 that WADA's response to the allegations was "insufficient on numerous levels."

"The scope of review appears to have been dramatically artfully truncated from what has been requested by WADA's stakeholders," he said in a letter to WADA President Craig Reedie.

WADA said that after further investigating the matter, it will report back to the executive committee "at the next opportunity."

Based on reporting by AFP and AP

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