ASADA statement responding to media reports
ASADA strongly denies allegations of evidence manipulation reported in the media.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has sole responsibility for setting and determining prohibited substances. It is not possible to manipulate whether or not substances are prohibited.
Thymosin Beta 4 was included on the 2010 Prohibited List by WADA under a general category of substances being a growth factor affecting muscle, tendon or ligament, vascularisation and regenerative capacity.
The substance Thymosin Beta 4 was always banned before, during and after the Cobia investigation.
Thymosin Beta 4 has never been approved for human use.
Whether a substance was on ASADA’s former Check Your Substances tool has no bearing on its status as a prohibited substance on WADA’s Prohibited List.
It is impossible to list every substance that may be used for performance enhancement in such a tool, particularly those not approved for use by humans.
In 2011-2013, for this reason any person who searched for a substance on the ASADA website that was not contained in the Check Your Substance tool would have received the following instruction:
“IMPORTANT: If you cannot find your search term on ‘Check Your Substances’ that does NOT mean that it is permitted in sport. Please check the list below for an exact match to your search term. If you cannot find an exact match for your search, please contact ASADA immediately”.
The scope and magnitude of the Cobia Investigation was unprecedented in sport.
ASADA’s investigation and conduct was subject to a level of external scrutiny that has never before been seen in an Australian anti-doping investigation.
- multiple Federal Court challenges;
- multiple anti-doping hearings;
- Swiss Federal Court review;
- complaints made by third parties to the Commonwealth Ombudsman; and
- complaints made to the Senate Committee.
At all times the conduct of ASADA and its staff was vindicated.