MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. Russia is implementing all the requirements of the roadmap for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA) membership reinstatement with the global doping control body WADA, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS on Monday.
The world’s governing anti-doping organization hammered out a roadmap for RUSADA’s membership reinstatement with WADA and one of the key provisions stated in the document was a requirement for Russia to recognize the findings in the McLaren report. Following a series of doping-related scandals triggered by the notorious McLaren report, RUSADA and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory had to suspend their activities in 2015.
"We are seeking to duly cooperate with WADA. We are implementing everything required by the roadmap: the charter has been amended, a new supervisory board has been elected, a competition to fill the vacancy of director general has been announced, a contract with UKAD [the UK’s National Anti-doping Organization] has been signed for this year, new educational programs have been launched," Mutko said. "We are a big country and any other organization will find it difficult to work in our territory. We have increased the number of tests, the country is under control. So, we see no big problems as the people who used to work with RUSADA as no longer there."
"We have created an independent system but WADA must be responsible for control over it, since both RUSADA and the anti-doping laboratory are working in line with WADA regulations and standards," Mutko said. "So, a mechanism of control is needed."
When asked whether RUSADA’s reinstatement with WADA would mean that Russian athletes would have no problems with admission to the 2018 Olympic Games, the Russian deputy prime minister said, "These are two different matters. Clearance for competitions is up to the International Olympic Committee and international federations. But one of their criteria is a strong independent anti-doping organization in the country. This is one of the conditions."
Last week, Russian two-times Olympic pole vault champion Elena Isinbayeva was reelected head of RUSADA’s supervisory board.
Beginning last year, Russian athletes were constantly under the gun due to numerous doping abuse accusations. The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Independent Commission, chaired by Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren, conducted an investigation into doping allegations in Russian sports and eventually came up with two parts to the report, the first delivered in July and the second in early December.
Following the first part of the report, which claimed systematic doping abuse and manipulations in Russian sports, the country’s track and field and weightlifting teams were banned from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. The whole Russian Paralympic team was also barred from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics.
The second part of the McLaren report confirmed the findings and allegations voiced in the first part, which claimed that Russian state officials and the Federal Security Service (FSB) were involved in doping manipulations, particularly swapping the doping results at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi.