The WADA report finds no evidence that Canadian Beckie Scott was bullied


Witnesses saw tears in the eyes of Beckie Scott following a meeting in which one man called her "victim" attitude and another questioned that the committee of athletes she led should even exist.

In the end, the investigators examined the meeting which left Scott "angry", "close to tears" and "trembling", according to witnesses, determined that he did not contribute to bullying or harassment, but that certainly some of they could have been seen as "aggressive, harsh or disrespectful".

These were the key points of the 58-page report that the World Anti-Doping Agency released Wednesday at a survey on Scott's complaint about how it was dealt with at a Council meeting in September 2018 where WADA has reinstated the anti-doping agency banned by Russia for its objections.

WADA has stated that with the publication of the report, "now it considers the investigation to be closed".

But this may not be the end.

In a statement released to the Associated Press after the report was made public, Scott and the US anti-doping agency Edwin Moses – whose claims were also investigated and not confirmed in the report – "expressed their extreme disappointment "in what they called" whitewashing "of their claims.

Refused to participate

Both refused to participate in the investigation, partly because the WADA company hired to run it had previously done a job for the agency. Even before the report was made public, the WADA athletes commission that Scott led sent a letter to the executive committee supporting Scott's decision not to participate and stating that "any report released in these circumstances will do incredible damage to athletes' confidence in WADA. "

The report, along with the unmodified ribbons of the executive committee meeting, offers a glimpse into how things have become raw between Scott and members of the International Olympic Committee who also sit on the WADA executive committee.

The most strained back and forth came after Scott presented a report on the WADA athletes forum.

IOC member Patrick Baumann responded by saying "at least from my point of view, we don't see that there is a need to replicate or mirror the IOC within WADA" – a presumptuous slap to the committee of athletes that Scott chairs.

A little later, IOC member Francesco Ricci Bitti said: "I was very surprised by Beckie's attitude as a victimist." He called the WADA forum a platform to promote a certain position in Russia, to then rekindle a theme that reaches the heart of the tension between athletes and the Olympic ruling class.

"The athlete plays an important role, but they must keep their place like everyone", said Ricci Bitti.

"Passive-aggressive behavior"

Later, Moses launched at Ricci Bitti and others who had insulted Scott with questions.

"I think it's a very, very high level and sophisticated game of passive-aggressive behavior and they are taking it on you and I don't appreciate it," he said.

Scott's complaint is called Baumann and Ricci Bitti. The report did not reflect on Baumann's answer. He said that while "Ricci Bitti's comments … could be considered aggressive, harsh or disrespectful, a reasonable person didn't see them as threatening, intimidating or humiliating," which was part of the definition of bullying established by investigators.

Meanwhile, Moses said he was told to shut up at a previous WADA meeting. The investigation also examined this claim and stated that it could not substantiate it.

In their statement, Scott and Moses listed a number of witnesses who refused to cooperate, including WADA vice president Linda Helleland and Rune Andersen, an anti-doping expert who did much of the work on the Russian athletic doping conspiracy.

Despite not finding bullying, the law firm made four recommendations, which WADA said it would try to implement.

One was forming members of the executive committee on best practices for board dialogue.

"Gender differences can also play a role," the report states. "In our interviews with witnesses, for example, we found that, overall, women reacted more forcefully to the use of the word" victim "than men."

He also said that since not all members of the board use English as a first language, misunderstandings may occur.

Investigators said they would benefit from the hearing of Scott and Moses, but believed they could get better information by not accepting the terms set by their lawyers.

They said that their previous work with WADA did not present a conflict of interest because they had no relationship with Baumann, Ricci Bitti, Scott or Moses. And they said that the demands posed by Scott and Moses "were characteristics of a cause, not of an independent investigation".


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