Anything short of declaring Russia non-compliant ‘a failure’: WADA committee

Anything short of declaring Russia non-compliant ‘a failure’: WADA committee

The World Anti-Doping Agency's Athlete Committee said on Wednesday anything less than declaring Russian Federation non-compliant would be a considered a failure now that a crucial deadline to hand over laboratory doping data has lapsed.

Russian Federation was given a deadline of 31st December to comply, but WADA's investigative team were denied full access to anti-doping samples.

If Russia fails to fulfill WADA's conditions, RUSADA may be once again declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code and Russian athletes may be stripped of the right to compete at the global level.

USADA is one of the 16 agencies to now call on him to reverse the September reinstatement without waiting for the scheduled meeting of its Compliance Review Committee (CRC) on January 14.

He said: "With its suspension from the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018, the Russian Olympic Committee has served its sanction, while in other organisations procedures are still ongoing".

WADA president Sir Craig Reedie was forced to admit he was "bitterly disappointed" by the setback, which has again called into question his judgement when it comes to dealing with Russian Federation.

WADA on Tuesday expressed bitter disappointment that Russian Federation had not met a key deadline.

Reedie and other Wada leaders have been under withering criticism since the decision in September.

Sanctions against Russia's doping control agency, Rusada, were controversially lifted in September on the basis that WADA would be granted full access to its laboratories by the end of previous year.

Travis Tygart chief executive of the US Anti Doping Agency
SUSAN WALSH APTravis Tygart chief executive of the US Anti Doping Agency

But Wada said on 21 December it had been unable to "complete its mission".

Prior to April 2018, the agency only really had power over its accredited anti-doping laboratories and NADOs, but a revision of its "international standard for code compliance by signatories" means WADA, in theory, can ban Russian Federation from hosting global events without needing the IOC to do it.

"Otherwise the WADA Compliance Review Committee and the WADA Executive Committee must now, immediately, declare RUSADA non-compliant".

That could lead to RUSADA again being declared non-compliant.

RUSADA, banned since 2015, were brought back into the fold in September on the condition that they allow access to the laboratory by December 31.

Reedie said WADA had written to Pavel Kolobkov, Russia's minister of sport, and Yury Ganus, the director general of RUSADA, to notify them of the situation and to remind them of the next steps in the process. Another documentary aired eight months later, and WADA subsequently suspended RUSADA.

The controversial decision was far from popular among athletes, with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) chief executive Nicole Sapstead labelling the move "deeply troubling for clean sport". 'We trust that those we look to for leadership will demonstrate their resolve and commitment to clean sport.

Russian sport has been embroiled in a scandal since 2014 when a documentary alleging systematic doping in the country's athletics programme aired on German television channel ARD.

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