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MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. Almost all issues concerning the implementation of the road map aimed at restoring the WADA membership of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) have been resolved, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister for Sports, Tourism and Youth Policy Vitaly Mutko said in an interview with TASS.
The restoration of RUSADA’s membership was included in the agenda of the September meeting of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee. The final decision may be made by the WADA Foundation Board at a meeting scheduled to be held on November 16. In September, WADA will carry out a full audit of RUSADA, the results of the audit will be presented to the Foundation Board members.
"Almost all the issues concerning the road map have been resolved, it is being implemented," Mutko said. "There is going to be an audit in September, and another one ahead of the WADA Foundation Board’s meeting. If the membership is not restored, then it will be a waste of money," he noted.
"We have granted full independence to RUSADA," he went on to say. "In fact, WADA has been managing the organization. Two independent experts have been active whose work is paid by WADA," the Russian deputy prime minister pointed out.
On August 31, Yuri Ganus was endorsed as director general of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. "There were as many as 700 candidates, WADA picked six out of them. The RUSADA Supervisory Board, set up in accordance with WADA’s recommendations, chose one of those six people. As soon as the newly appointed director general settles into his new job, we will hold a meeting with him," Mutko said.
"However, we would like these requirements to be applied not only to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, but to everyone," the Russian deputy prime minister added.
The World Anti-Doping Agency suspended RUSADA in the autumn of 2015 following an investigation in regard to the activities of RUSADA, the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry. The investigation was carried out by the WADA Independent Commission which came to the conclusion that RUSADA did not live up to the WADA standards. 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.
WADA and RUSADA later agreed on a road map to restore the Russian agency’s membership.
On May 18, 2017, the WADA Board of Directors convened for a session in Montreal, Canada, to review the progress of Russia’s implementation of the global anti-doping body’s roadmap requirements aimed at reinstating the country’s suspended WADA membership. The organization concluded that Russia had achieved certain progress in bringing its anti-doping system in line with global requirements, but added that other criteria still remained to be fulfilled.
On June 27, 2017, WADA granted RUSADA the right to plan and coordinate doping testing under the supervision of WADA-appointed international experts and the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD).
Most of the road map’s conditions have already been fulfilled as RUSADA has begun to receive funding from the federal budget, the Russian Sports Ministry has been excluded from its foundation board so that the board now comprises only the National Olympic and Paralympic committees. Besides, the RUSADA Supervisory Board has been set up and a new director general has been elected.