In light of the recent doping scandal that has rocked the foundation of Russian sports, USA Swimming and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) met in-person with the world’s swimming governing body, FINA, this week to review the current state of doping, as well as future combative processes.
As scheduled, USADA CEO Travis Tygart and Science Director Dr. Matthew Fedoruk and USA Swimming representative Jim Wood joined FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu in Lausanne, Switzerland for a discussion on such topics as FINA’s and WADA’s protocols on anti-doping programs, communication with National Federations and athletes, as well as testing plans and ‘strategies on Athlete Biological Passport’ leading up to this year’s Olympic Games.
During the meeting, FINA representatives outlined the organization’s anti-doping rules, while also considering methods of improving cooperation with USADA in the future. Per FINA, the overall goal of the meeting was to ‘intensify mutual efforts in the fight against doping in aquatics.’
With this year being one in which an Olympic Games is being held, the implementation of efficient, thorough and organized testing of the top athletes of all swimming nations is at the center of the collaborative effort among the organizations.
“We are always happy and available to meet with our member Federations and any National Anti-Doping Organisation in order to review all relevant details concerning the essential fight against cheating in our Sport. USADA is a NADO with an impressive and exemplary record in the fight against doping. FINA has long been co-operating with USADA and look forward to continuing our strong collaboration. USA Swimming has a great and talented group of athletes and is therefore also an important FINA partner in this strategy. That is why we praise this kind of meetings and the positive results it brings in terms of transparency and mutual understanding”, considered the FINA Executive Director Cornel Marculescu.
Stated Travis Tygart of the meeting, “We were honoured to meet today with FINA leadership and excited by our mutual commitment to do our utmost to ensure the integrity of the sport of Swimming and to continue to work collaboratively to protect clean athletes.”
Although last month in describing the purpose of the meeting to the press USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus previewed the meeting as “an effort to see if we can understand what’s going on and maybe why certain decisions were made the way they were”, no details or additional explanations regarding those situations potentially discussed during this assembly has been released.
Specifically, per reports back in December on this meeting’s agenda, the cases involving Australia’s Kylie Palmer, Russia’s Yuliya Efimova and China’s Sun Yang were reportedly on the list of topics to be reviewed, as all three athletes’ doping cases were handled rather peculiarly, with questions raised by several in the swimming community in each circumstance.