The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Thursday that Russia remains “non-compliant” with its Code, dealing a significant blow to its hopes of being cleared to compete at February’s Winter Olympics.
Russia’s anti-doping bureau (RUSADA) has been suspended as a 2015 WADA report found evidence of state-sponsored doping and accused it of systematically violating anti-doping regulations.
WADA set out a roadmap for Russia to recover its standing but in a meeting of its Foundation Board in Seoul on Thursday determined that key criteria hadn’t been met.
WADA President Craig Reedie said the Board accepted the recommendation from the Independent Compliance Review Committee which RUSADA remain non-compliant as two important requirements for reinstatement had not been fulfilled.
“Having put a road map for compliance, there are two issues which must be fulfilled and we can not walk away from the responsibilities,” Reedie told reporters, adding that the RUSADA has made improvements.
Kuwait, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritius had been found non-compliant from the Board, it included.
The choice will probably include more pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to prohibit Russian athletes in the 2018 Winter Games.
Russia escaped a blanket ban in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro but remains barred from competing in international sports events.
Yuri Ganus, director general of RUSADA, said the bureau had completed everything Yuri would to be reinstated besides two standards that had not been fulfilled and were outside of its control.
“We fulfilled all of the criteria that depended on us,” Ganus told a news conference in Moscow. “There were two things which were beyond our prerogatives. Unfortunately they weren’t fulfilled.”
He didn’t say what they had been especially but Russian authorities have so far refused to acknowledge that the findings of the 2015 record of state-backed, systematic doping. Russia has also not released saved samples from its Moscow laboratory.
The IOC is set to pick on Russia’s involvement in its executive board meeting on Dec. 5-7.
“The decision of the IOC Executive Board … will take all of the conditions, including all the steps to ensure a level-playing field in the Olympic Winter Games 2018, into account when it determines on the involvement of the Russian athletes in Pyeongchang,” an IOC spokesperson said.
“The pre-games task force (set up by the IOC) will continue to make certain that all athletes qualified …, and especially Russian athletes, receive the right level of testin”
Pyeongchang Games organizers said they would await the IOC’s ruling.
Countries and sports federations have to be compliant with the WADA Code to qualify for the Olympics, with the IOC making the best decision on participation.
The IOC prohibited six cross-country skiers this month as part of an investigation into allegations of widespread doping and sample-tampering by lab and security officials in the 2014 Sochi Games.
Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov hit out at the WADA decision, stating a few of the criteria for RUSADA’s reinstatement had a “political personality,” R-Sport news agency reported.
On Wednesday, Kolobkov had said Russia had done everything in its power to become reinstated.
A 2016 report by Canadian attorney Richard McLaren discovered that over 1,000 Russian rivals in over 30 sports were involved in a conspiracy to hide positive drug tests within a five-year interval.
WADA said last week it had acquired a database verifying that the allegations of widespread state-sponsored doping made from the McLaren report.
Despite repeated calls for collaboration with international bodies to help rid Russia of doping, local governments haven’t acknowledged any state participation.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested the allegations were an effort to sow discontent ahead of Russia’s presidential elections.
Alexander Zhukov, president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, said on Thursday that they couldn’t meet any standards that called for the nation to accept the state had been involved in doping.
“There wasn’t and isn’t any system of state service (for doping) in Russia,” the Interfax news agency quoted Zhukov as saying on Thursday.
“This can’t be accepted.”
Courtesy: The Globe And Mail