Launched in August 2017, WADA I&I’s investigation into weightlifting has four pillars, namely:
- Operation Outreach, looking into claims that a high-ranking member of the IWF was paid to promote Russian interests and to protect Russian athletes from detection;
- Operation Heir, investigating allegations of an organized doping and protection scheme operating within Romanian weightlifting;
- Operation Extra, dealing with the complex process of collection, collation and assessment of all weightlifting intelligence received by WADA I&I; and
- Operation Arrow, a covert investigation into the practice of urine substitution at the point of collection.
the new methodology to refine the identification of potential substitute urine was developed by WADA I&I with assistance in part from confidential sources and analysis experts. This methodology has so far allowed investigators to identify, through DNA profile analysis, cases of suspected urine substitution involving 18 weightlifters from six countries.
What kind of sums are we talking about, you ask? From page 6:
More specifically, between 2012 and 2016, a highranking member of the IWF purportedly received about $5,000,000 USD from Russian entities to cover up allegations of doping by Russian weightlifters. These monies were concealed within the IWF under the banner of “fines” (Administrative Fines).
How do you get this much money across borders without being noticed? From page 7:
Mr Aján routinely used the influence of his honorary Hungarian “diplomatic passport” to transport large sums of money in and out of Hungary undisturbed. A diplomatic passport ordinarily ensures that the holder and their luggage are exempt from any interference or inspection by border control.
How many athletes and coaches are we talking about? From page 9:
Operation Extra identified over 30 current or former athletes suspected of doping, over 15 current or former coaches suspected of assisting their athletes in doping, and over 10 current or former officials suspected of knowingly facilitating the doping of athletes under their supervision.