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WADA confirms Russia’s possible membership reinstatement in 2017

March 14, 14:19 UTC+3 LAUSANNE
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LAUSANNE, March 14. /TASS/. Russia has all chances of being reinstated in its membership with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) by November this year, WADA President Sir Craig Reedie told TASS.

Addressing on Monday the annual WADA Symposium, held in Lausanne on March 13-15, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov announced that RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency) expected to be granted a partial approval of its compliance with the WADA Code by May and to be fully reinstated by this November.

Asked whether it was possible for Russia to be reinstated with WADA this year, Reedie said: "By November - Yes, it is possible."

"That would be a part of the roadmap," Reedie said in an interview with TASS. "There seems to have emerged a sort of prior potential in temporary compliance and I think that that time limit (by May) is difficult.

"But yes, I think it could be done by November," the WADA chief added. "That’s a part of the agreed roadmap."

Less than two years ago, the WADA Independent Commission carried out an investigation of the activities of RUSADA, the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry, and announced the results of the probe on November 9, 2015.

The commission accused certain athletes and sports officials of doping abuse and involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and RUSADA was eventually suspended.

Starting in January 2016, control over anti-doping regulations in Russian sports has been exercised by RUSADA strictly under the supervision of the British anti-doping agency (UKAD).

Addressing the Annual WADA Symposium, President Reedie said 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 now-infamous McLaren report.

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.

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