WADA issues report from investigation into allegations regarding the National Anti-Doping Agency of India
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) independent Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) Department has published its summary report following an investigation into allegations that elements of the testing program of the National Anti-Doping Agency of India (NADA) were not in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI).
WADA I&I’s long-running investigation, known as ‘Operation Carousel’, was launched in 2018, and uncovered evidence that NADA did not carry out adequate testing on some athletes in NADA’s registered testing pool (RTP) while also failing to put in place appropriate monitoring of athletes’ whereabouts information(1). The investigation monitored select sports and athletes within India and, as a result, in cooperation with NADA, 12 positive tests (Adverse Analytical Findings) and 97 whereabouts failures of 70 athletes were identified. These are now subject to results management processes as appropriate.
WADA I&I Director, Gunter Younger, said: “Since 2016, WADA has been working with NADA to improve its anti-doping program, providing various corrective actions to address non-conformities with the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards. In parallel and in response to tips coming through our confidential information platform, ‘Speak Up!’, WADA I&I launched ‘Operation Carousel’, which uncovered clear evidence that NADA’s lack of resources meant it was not carrying out a sufficient level of testing and it did not have satisfactory oversight and management of whereabouts filings by athletes in the registered testing pool.”
Since ‘Operation Carousel’ began to engage openly with NADA in late 2022, NADA has strengthened its testing program by improving internal processes and bringing in significant additional resources, both human and financial. As a result, both the collection of blood samples and out-of-competition testing (urine and blood) has increased. Moreover, NADA has doubled its sample collection staff, including doping control officers, and made significant improvements to its whereabouts management. The organization is receiving external assistance to develop and strengthen its anti-doping programs further, including its investigative and intelligence capabilities. Going forward, WADA’s Compliance Taskforce will continue to monitor the activities of NADA to ensure it upholds the high standards demanded by the Code and all related International Standards.
Note: The names of those involved in the investigation have been withheld from the summary report in order to protect their privacy rights, in accordance with the terms of the International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information.
(1)Athletes in an RTP must provide accurate and current whereabouts information in order to facilitate Anti-Doping Organizations as they carry out no-notice, out-of-competition testing, which is a crucial component of an effective anti-doping program.