IOC President Thomas Bach Has ‘Full Confidence’ in WADA Over Chinese Doping Case

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said Friday that he has “full confidence” in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) amid criticism that the organization let 23 Chinese swimmers off the hook for positive tests of a banned substance in January of 2021.

WADA decided not to challenge China’s assertion that elite swimmers unwittingly ingested trimetazidine (TMZ) due to food contamination from their hotel kitchen. After pressure from anti-doping authorities in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, WADA announced Thursday that Swiss prosecutor Eric Cottier would review the case for bias and share his conclusion within two months — before the Paris Olympics start this summer.

“We have full confidence in WADA and the regulations and that WADA have followed their regulations,” Bach said in an interview at the IOC’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Bach said the IOC is awaiting results of WADA’s internal investigation to make any determinations about Chinese swimmers’ participation in Paris. Thirteen of the 23 Chinese swimmers who tested positive for TMZ went on to compete at the Tokyo Olympics seven months later, including gold medalists Zhang Yufei (200 butterfly, 4×200 free relay), Wang Shun (200 IM), and Yang Junxuan (4×200 free relay).

“If the procedures are followed, there is no reason for them not to be there,” Bach said about Chinese swimmers competing at the Olympics this summer. “It is not possible that you will just throw an allegation to an athlete which is not supported by the relevant authorities — in this case, WADA — and then you say, okay, for these reasons, because some people are not happy, you keep them away from the Olympic Games.”

On Friday, the China Anti-Doping Agency (CHINADA) said it would actively cooperate with WADA’s audit. U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) CEO Travis Tygart said the review isn’t truly independent because WADA picked an attorney “from its own backyard” and limited the scope of Cottier’s investigation.

“The world’s athletes deserve a truly independent review commission with a wide scope of review that is constituted with an independent athlete representative and impartial respected jurists with anti-doping experience appointed by government consensus,” Tygart said.

Bach addressed a few other Olympic issues during Friday’s interview. He addressed Israel’s invasion Palestine, calling the situation “completely different” than Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

Bach also said the IOC has “all the confidence” that the Paris 2024 opening ceremony can take place as planned along the Seine River. French president Emmanuel Macron said last week that the ceremony could be moved to the national stadium at Stade de France if the security risk is too much. A few months ago, organizers reduced the number of spectators allowed from 600,000 to 320,000.

“The very meticulous, very professional approach (from French authorities) gives us all the confidence that we can have this opening ceremony on the river Seine and that this opening ceremony will be iconic, will be unforgettable for the athletes, and everybody will be safe and secure,” Bach said.

Bach declined to comment on whether the IOC’s statutes might be amended to allow him to continue serving as president even after his second four-year term comes to an end this year.

“The IOC Ethics Commission has given me the strict recommendation not to address this question before the end of (the) Paris (Olympics) and I think they have good reasons for this,” the 70-year-old Bach said.


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David S
2 months ago


2 months ago

But what does Mozart think

Phil Espinosa
2 months ago

Yeah an the 1972 Israeli Olympic team had full confidence in the IOC for their safety before and dignity after 11 Israeli Olympians were murdered. The IOC is simply a poorly run non-profit that represents only themselves and their interests.

Reply to  Phil Espinosa
2 months ago

The gall of Israelis to use 11 deaths from literally over 50 years ago to complain when they’re currently carrying out a genocide where they’ve murdered tens of thousands of children is astounding

Last edited 2 months ago by Sub13
I miss the ISL (Go dawgs)
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Me when I don’t know what genocide means

2 months ago

IOC got paid heaps by Beijing to host 2022 winter games .. they have a lot riding on the Chinese market

Reply to  Verram
2 months ago

DID they ? More the case that they were left in an embarassing situation after the preferred candidate Oslo told them ” where to get off” after IOC figures were rather too clumsy in their attempted “shakedown” of local officials. They were then left with 2 candidates from “authoritarian” regimes; Astana (KAZ) & Beijing. Beijing got the nod due to better existing infrastructure.

Viking Steve
2 months ago

Bach is waiting for WADA’s internal ‘investigation’ of their rubber stamping of CHINADA’s internal ‘investigation’

Not exactly a lot of suspense about how this sting of ‘investigations’ will play out.

2 months ago

I wonder, if you asked AI to make a picture of a corrupt bureaucrat, how close would it be to this photo?

Reply to  Jimbo
2 months ago

There is currently no real evidence to hand that suggests Herr Bach engages in any corrupt practices, let alone those that proliferated during the Samaranch regime.

It actually may be said that Herr Bach is a man of firm principles, and this in many ways can be an admirable quality. Regrettably, however, it has become patently clear during his term in office that these principles have led him to become completely blinkered to the realities of the wider world. He had to be brought kicking and screaming to have Tokyo postponed 12 months.

They battle to find ANYONE to host the 5 Ring Circus due to them becoming so bloated as to become unviable but what is his answer ?… Read more »

The Olympics is a sham
Reply to  commonwombat
2 months ago

The man is almost certainly committed to ensuring he gets his payout before he abdicates the chair. As you point out, no one wants the Olympics anymore. It is bad for the host city and now there are all these sports that need to be supported.

We are seeing a pyramid scheme play out in real time. Sports continually need to be added in the hopes that the fans of these sports will pump money into the infrastructure. This is because after swimming and gymnastics and maybe a few track events and the increasingly revealing beach volleyball “uniforms”, no one actually cares about the rest of the sports except the small populations of people who participate in them.

This… Read more »

Reply to  Jimbo
2 months ago

Here’s what GPT had to say:

comment image

Last edited 2 months ago by Braden Keith
2 months ago

Losing the battles.
Losing the war.
Faith in Bach? None

2 months ago

New China doping article LFG!!!

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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