Published: Fri, January 04, 2019
Sport | By Matt Richards

WADA Set To Review Russia Status

WADA Set To Review Russia Status

WADA personnel traveled to Russian Federation in December but were unable to extract all of the promised data.

The country could now be at risk of another ban from global events after a state-sponsored doping scandal.

The UKAD Athletes' Committee, which is chaired by former rower Sarah Winckless and counts track cyclist Callum Skinner among its members, was vocal in its condemnation of the decision to reinstate RUSADA in the first place.

WADA's independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) are due to discuss the matter at a meeting on January 14 and 15 in Montreal in Canada but critics say this is too late.

WADA had conditionally - and controversially - reinstated the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in September along with a requirement that it hand over data and samples by December 31.

If the CRC recommends declaring RUSADA non-compliant and the ExCo agrees with it, the Russian agency will have the right to challenge that assertion to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

However, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has suggested Russian Federation would not be suspended for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, saying the country had "served its sanction" when banned from the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang past year.

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"With its suspension from the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018, the Russian Olympic Committee has served its sanction".

"Since then, WADA has been working diligently with the Russian authorities to meet the deadline, which was clearly in the best interest of clean sport".

The decision to lift the ban aroused a wave of criticism directed at Wada and especially at 77-year-old Reedie.

In September, Wada controversially lifted its suspension of Rusada - which was imposed in November 2015 - pending the meeting of conditions in a "roadmap to compliance".

Travis Tygart, chief executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency.

In a statement, Tygart said: "In September WADA secretly moved the goalposts and reinstated Russian Federation against the wishes of athletes, governments and the public".

Wada also faced mounting pressure from national anti-doping organisations, including from the United States and Germany, who called for an immediate review and recommendation from the CRC.

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"No one is surprised this deadline was ignored and it's time for WADA to stop being played by the Russians and immediately declare them non-compliant".

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

On 13 September, the group wrote an open letter to Wada saying to readmit Russian Federation without meeting the conditions it had been set would be "a catastrophe for clean sport". WADA said on Tuesday it had not received access to the data in time, adding that the CRC would present recommendations on the status of RUSADA after its session in mid-January.

"Anything less will be considered a failure by WADA to act on behalf of clean athletes". We trust that those we look to for leadership will demonstrate their resolve and commitment to clean sport.

WADA has written to both Ganus and Russia's minister of sport Pavel Kolobkov to "officially notify them of the situation and to remind them of the next steps in the process".

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.

Olivier Niggli, Director General of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) attends the WADA Symposium in Ecublens, near Lausanne, Switzerland, March 21, 2018.

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