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Russian biathlon chief: WADA’s decision ‘biased but expected’

The WADA Executive Committee approved on Dec 9 the recommendations of its Compliance Review Committee to annul the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency as well as to strip Russia of the right to participate in major int'l sports tournaments for four years

MOSCOW, December 12. /TASS/. A recent decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in regard to Russian sports was ‘expected but biased,’ Vladimir Drachev, the president of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU), said on Thursday.

"This was a negative decision, which we had been actually preparing for," Drachev said, speaking at a news conference hosted by TASS on Thursday. "This is a biased decision in our opinion."

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee (ExCo) approved on December 9 the recommendations of its Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to annul the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) as well as to strip Russia of the right to participate in major international sports tournaments, including the Olympics, Paralympics and world championships, for the period of four years.

The WADA ExCo also ruled that Russia must not host, or bid for or be granted in the four-year period any major international sports tournament. Russian state officials, as well as the officials of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), were banned from attending all major international sports tournaments for the period of four years.

"Russia took enormous efforts and continued doing so in its fight against doping abuse in sports, which is a problem on the international scale," he continued. "Our biathlon athletes underwent 250 doping tests this year and all of them were negative. It was enormous work and we have done it."

"The investigation was carried out in a one-sided manner as WADA had only one witness, whose testimonies were taken for granted, while the rest of arguments were dismissed as untrue," Drachev said. "We disagree with the decision of WADA, we are not looking for the guilty parties and are focused on the solution of tasks, which the Russian biathlon is currently faced with."

"The current situation is also aggravated by the fact that we have no list of Russian athletes, suspected by WADA of anti-doping violations," he added.

In December 2017, the IBU Executive Board made a decision to limit the rights of the Russian Biathlon Union within the international organization due to numerous doping abuse allegations. The RBU was particularly stripped of the right to vote at the IBU Congresses and nominate its candidates for the executive posts in the global organization.

The International Biathlon Union presented at that time a list of 12 criteria required for the reinstatement of the Russian organization and they were divided into four parts: the reimbursement of costs, the future testing program of Russian biathletes, mandatory anti-doping education, the work with the team and coaches.