MOSCOW, September 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) understands the importance of anti-doping work with Russian athletes who want to take part in the Winter Olympic Games in 2018 and plans to ensure comprehensive doping control for them, RUSADA Director General Yuri Ganus told TASS on Tuesday.
"It is important to understand that we are in the pre-Olympic period," he said. "We interested in ensuring normal conditions for the Russian team to get prepared for the 2018 Games. That is why we are trying to ensure the implementation of the range of measures to take samples and plan doping testing."
Ganus took the office of RUSADA’s director general on August 31 after his candidature nominated by the supervisory board was supported by RUSADA’s founders - the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committees.
"As a matter of fact, mush has already been done," Ganus said. "RUSADA has a new team and WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) is helping us to arrange our work. We have already been allowed to plan testing and take doping samples, and this is a very serious step forward. Our further efforts are geared to expand functional possibilities, however, already now we actually do comprehensive work - we have an analysis department and a department of investigation. All functional divisions are doing their job."
The Olympic Games will be held in South Korea’s PyeongChang from February 9 to 25, 2018.
The World Anti-Doping Agency suspended RUSADA in November 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. Most of the road map’s conditions have already been fulfilled. The audit remains one of the last conditions for reinstating RUSADA’s membership.