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Russian deputy PM says WADA’s decision on Russian anti-doping agency ‘expected’

November 16, 2017, 9:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Vitaly Mutko noted that the reinstatement of RUSADA and the participation of the team in the Olympic Games "are not linked to each other"

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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko

© Yegor Aleyev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s decision not to reinstate Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA was expected and had been almost announced beforehand, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS.

On Thursday, the WADA Foundation Board held a meeting in Seoul. It refused to reinstate RUSADA saying that the agency is non-complaint with WADA’s code.

"No one expected any other decision, it had been announced by the commissions and well-informed media outlets," said Mutko, who led the Russian Sports Ministry from 2008 to 2016.

"They have no new decisions for us," Mutko said, noting that the reinstatement of RUSADA and the participation of the team in the Olympic Games "are two different matters that are not linked to each other."

Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov also said "there is such an impression that the decision had been taken beforehand."

Mutko stressed that the decision has not changed anything and RUSADA continues its work. "Another case is the compliance criteria. In our view, Russia has complied with them. And two extra points, which cannot be implemented, show that there was no wish to reinstate it," he said.

WADA’s decision is a "road to nowhere," Mutko stressed.

Two unfulfilled criteria

The WADA Foundation Board in its decision followed the recommendations of the Compliance Review Committee chaired by Jonathan Taylor. He said Russia failed to fulfill two reinstatement criteria: Russia has not so far publicly recognized the conclusions of the WADA independent commission headed by Richard McLaren and WADA has not received access to the doping test samples of the Moscow laboratory, which are sealed by the Investigative Committee. Taylor also said WADA staff members and doping officers had difficulties with entering the territory of closed cities.

The investigation against Russians is carried out by two commissions of the International Olympic Committee led by Denis Oswald and Samuel Schmid. Both commissions will unveil the outcome of their effort at the IOC Executive Board meeting on December 5, which will announce a decision on the Russian team’s participation in the 2018 Olympics.

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