Ukraine anti-doping officials ousted following reports of violations dating back to 2012

Ukraine’s Minister of Youth and Sports Vadym Guttsait, in a statement, said “The National Anti-Doping Center of Ukraine (NADC) has violated the international testing standard”.

Vadym Guttsait, Ukraine Minister of Youth and Sport (Wikipedia)
Vadym Guttsait, Ukraine Minister of Youth and Sport (Wikipedia)

The top two officials at the National Anti-Doping Organization of Ukraine (NADC) have resigned following revelations that the NADC violated doping rules by giving athletes advance notice of unexpected out-of-competition tests since 2012.

The finding was part of the report released earlier this week following an investigation by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) independent Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) Department.

Ukraine’s Minister of Youth and Sports Vadym Guttsait, in a statement, said “The National Anti-Doping Center of Ukraine (NADC) has violated the international testing standard.

“Therefore, today, the Director of NADC Ivan Kurlischuk and his Deputy Yaroslav Kruchek resigned. The Ministry states that we take a clear stance in the fight against doping and will not allow anyone to violate anti-doping rules. The reaction to the violation will be immediate and hard-line.”

The Ukraine National Olympic Committee declined to comment to Around the Rings on the ministry statement or the charges brought by the report.

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks into the head office of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada November 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A woman walks into the head office of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada November 9, 2015. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo

According to WADA, the ‘Operation Hercules’ investigation was launched in 2019 and has uncovered evidence to suggest that since 2012 NADC has conducted unjustified advance-notice sample collections, arranging to test athletes – including groups of athletes – by appointment at the NADC offices.

The investigation also found “compelling evidence to suggest that in 2021, NADC knowingly reported at least six in-competition samples as out-of-competition samples”, another violation of the World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standard for Testing and Investigations (ISTI). All six samples came back clean after being re-analyzed by WADA I&I.

In announcing the charges, WADA I&I Director Gunter Younger said “‘Operation Hercules’ has raised serious questions about the integrity of NADC’s testing practices, and the competence of some staff. Moreover, the apparent longevity and brazenness of these practices suggests significant organizational failings within NADC.”

The findings of the investigation have been sent to WADA’s Compliance Review Committee, the next step in the process that could lead to sanctions against Ukraine.