MOSCOW, September 25. /TASS/. Russia needs a strong independent anti-doping organization, Russian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of sports, tourism and youth policy, Vitaly Mutko, said on Monday.
"We believe that a country like Russia must have a strong anti-doping organization of its own. We have done our best to make it independent. So far, I have a vague idea of how the consequences of this independence will come out," he said.
"RUSADA [Russian Anti-Doping Agency] and the [Moscow anti-doping] laboratory were independent and worked under WADA’s (World Anti-Doping Agency) standards. And only WADA possesses methods of control. There is no legal dependence between the authorities and the operation of the anti-doping organization in Russia. Our holy duty is to pay money and we do it once a year," he said.
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.
The issue of RUSADA’s reinstatement will be addressed at a WADA Board meeting on November 16 in Seoul.