Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Russian Federation anti-doping body to 'continue its work' after WADA ban

By Andreas Selliaas By Andreas Selliaas
Lori Graves | 17 November, 2017, 01:51

In a blow to Russia, the World Anti-Doping Agency maintained their suspension of the Russian body, RUSADA, which was first imposed in 2015 when evidence emerged of widespread cheating.

WADA's Foundation Board, meeting in Seoul, came to the decision after its Compliance Review Committee recommended that Russia's anti-doping body, RUSADA, "should not be reinstated".

WADA's decision comes before the International Olympic Committee's executive board meet next month to consider whether Russian Federation can compete at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

"It is a sensitive issue, and we are waiting for IOC's official decision for now". Russia, which avoided a blanket ban at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, though its track-and-field athletes were barred, has said its team will only compete in South Korea under the national flag.

At issue are WADA's demands that Russian officials admit they ran a state-sponsored doping program, as detailed in a report issued past year by Canadian attorney Richard McLaren, and that the country turn over doping samples collected during the time of the cheating.

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The chief of the USA anti-doping agency described the latest development as "another sad moment in this entire sordid affair".

Countries and sports federations must be compliant with the WADA Code to be eligible for the Olympics, with the International Olympic Committee making the ultimate decision on participation. A 2016 report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren found that more than 1,000 Russian competitors in more than 30 sports were involved in a conspiracy to hide positive drug tests over a five-year period.

"It is clear that an unconditional recognition of the McLaren Report is impossible", Zhukov added. It also called on Russian authorities to hand over all electronic files and stored urine samples from the national anti-doping agency's laboratory in Moscow, something officials have refused to do.

As NPR's Bill Chappell explained: "WADA says the lab had different fee systems for handling tests that showed proof of doping, with one price for handling a positive test they had been told to look out for - and a second, higher price for covering up test results they hadn't been warned about".

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