US anti-doping agency attacks Wada’s ‘half-truths’ over Chinese swimmers

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) on Wednesday criticized the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) for “doubling down on half-truths” after the global body published a document outlining its handling of a case involving Chinese swimmers.

Wada has been under fire since the New York Times reported last month that 23 Chinese swimmers tested positive for trimetazidine before the 2021 Tokyo Games but were allowed to compete after being cleared by a Chinese study.

Wada accepted the findings of a Chinese investigation that the swimmers had been unintentionally exposed to the drug and the matter was not made public.

In a “frequently asked questions” document released days ago, Wada said there was “strong evidence that these cases could be a case of group transmission.”

On Wednesday, USADA backtracked on Wada’s latest statement.

“The facts and intelligence also support a finding of coordinated intentional doping, such that Wada should have initiated an investigation into the source of these positive tests,” Usada wrote. “But that didn’t happen, because all the clean athletes failed.”

Usada’s 16-page document outlined a wide range of concerns and is the latest salvo in a public row between the two sides.

Wada said last week it would launch an independent review into its handling of the case, amid a widespread backlash, after Usada called for a full overhaul of the global body to restore confidence ahead of the Paris Games .

“The duplication of half-truths and selfish rationalizations for non-compliance is deeply concerning,” USADA said. “Those who value fair play remain completely dissatisfied with WADA’s responses regarding the sweeping of 23 positive tests under the rug.”