WADA - Case of the 23 swimmers who tested positive for trimetazidine on January 1, 2 and 3, 2021

  • Summary Report Issued on July 1 2024 by Eric Cottier (hereinafter: the Investigator), in Lausanne, to President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), in Montreal in fulfilment of the mandate given by WADA on 6 May 2024.

  • Case of the 23 swimmers who tested positive for Trimetazidine on January 1, 2 and 3, 2021

Summary Of The Main Investigative And Analytical Acts Carried Out By WADA From The Receipt Of CHINADA's Decision To The Decision Not To File An Appeal (15.06.2021 – 31.07.2021)

On 9 July 2024, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) held an extraordinary Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting to discuss the interim report (and annex) delivered by Independent Prosecutor, Mr. Eric Cottier, regarding his review of WADA’s handling of the China Anti-Doping Agency’s (CHINADA’s) no-fault contamination case involving 23 swimmers from China in 2021. 

During the virtual ExCo meeting, Mr. Cottier took members through his interim report that included his conclusions outlined below in relation to two questions: 

1. Is there any indication of bias towards China, undue interference or other impropriety in WADA's assessment of the decision by CHINADA not to bring forward anti-doping rule violations against the 23 Chinese swimmers?   

  • There is nothing in the file – which is complete – to suggest that WADA showed favouritism or deference, or in any way favoured the 23 swimmers who tested positive for trimetazidine (TMZ) between 1 and 3 January 2021, when it proceeded to review CHINADA's decision to close the proceedings against them without further action. 
  • The Investigator did not find any evidence to suggest any interference or meddling in WADA's review, as described above, either within the Agency or externally, from any entity or institution, including CHINADA or the Chinese authorities. 
  • The investigation did not reveal any irregularities on the part of WADA in the review of CHINADA's decision; this review was detailed and covered all relevant issues in determining whether or not to appeal the decision. 

2. Based on a review of the case file related to the decision by CHINADA not to bring forward Anti-Doping Rule Violations against the 23 Chinese swimmers, as well as any other elements that WADA had at its disposal, was the decision by WADA not to challenge on appeal the contamination scenario put forward by CHINADA a reasonable one? 

  • All the elements taken into consideration by WADA, whether they come from the file produced by CHINADA with its decision or from the investigation procedures that it carried out, show the decision not to appeal to be reasonable, both from the point of view of the facts and the applicable rules. 

About the Independent Prosecutor Review 

The decision to appoint Mr. Cottier was endorsed by WADA’s ExCo on 25 April, following requests for such a review by a small number of stakeholders. The 16-member ExCo is made up of independent members as well as athletes, Governments from all regions of the world, and the Sport Movement, who represent their respective constituency groups.  

As outlined in Mr. Cottier’s letter of engagement, he was asked to use his best endeavors to issue his full report by the end of June 2024. However, in the event that the full reasoned report could not be issued within that timeframe, he was asked to consider issuing a summary interim report before Paris 2024, including the outcomes of his inquiry, which he has now done. 

About the Independent Prosecutor Eric Cottier 

Entirely independent of WADA, the Sport Movement and Governments, Mr. Eric Cottier is a prosecutor of 39 years’ experience, who was the Attorney General of the Canton de Vaud, Switzerland, from September 2005 until his retirement in December 2022. Prior to that, he had been a public prosecutor from 1984 to 1991, President of the 2nd District Court in Vevey and Lavaux from 1991 to 1998, and a cantonal court judge from 1999 until 2005. He was Special Prosecutor at the federal level in Switzerland from 2016-2018. He is currently a member of the Board of the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, and a member of a working group at the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), an independent, inter-governmental organization based in Rome, Italy. 

Original document


1 July 2024
Cottier, Eric
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World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
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10 July 2024
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16 July 2024
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