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WADA’s clampdown on doping in Russian sports was success, says outgoing President Reedie

Sir Craig Reedie steps down as WADA president succeeded by Polish Sports and Tourism Minister Witold Banka, 35, on January 1, 2020

MOSCOW, December 31. /TASS/. Sir Craig Reedie, the outgoing president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), said one of the main achievements during his six-year presidential term in the organization was the fight against doping abuse in Russian sports.

"A little more than 20 years ago, WADA was founded to promote, harmonize and regulate the fight against doping in sport," Reedie, 78, stated in his ‘End of term message’ posted on WADA’s official website.

"Considering the last six years in particular, I am especially pleased to see how WADA responded to the challenges it faced since 2014, in particular the Russian doping crisis that led to the development and implementation of a world-class Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) team, which now boasts 11 members and could easily be considered the best such team in sport."

"The work of individuals within that department, among others, has been instrumental in WADA’s response to the Russian doping crisis, the most recent chapter of which culminated in December with the Executive Committee decision to recommend non-compliance for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) along with a range of strong consequences," Reedie continued.

On December 19, the RUSADA Supervisory Board recommended the agency’s Founders Council to disagree with WADA’s sanctions against Russian sports and to take this case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne. On December 27, RUSADA sent an official notification of its disagreement to WADA and the global anti-doping body will now have to submit this case to the Swiss-based court.

"Ultimately, it will be for the Court of Arbitration for Sport to rule on it but throughout this process, WADA has shown it has the will, the expertise and the legal tools to stand up effectively to this unprecedented level of cheating and corruption," Reedie said.

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

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

On November 25, the WADA Compliance Review Committee (CRC) reiterated its previous recommendation for the world anti-doping body’s Executive Committee to strip RUSADA of its compliance status and came up with a recommendation of additional sanctions against Russian sports.

The world’s governing anti-doping body announced on September 23 that it had initiated a probe into the compliance status of RUSADA with the organization’s Code based on inconsistencies found in the data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.

Poland’s Banka to take helm of WADA

Early in November, members of the WADA Foundation Board unanimously approved the candidacy of Polish Sports and Tourism Minister Witold Banka for the post of the next WADA president.

Banka assumes his post on January 1, 2020. Britain’s Sir Craig Reedie, who has been the president of WADA over the past six years, remains in this post until the end of this year.

Banka celebrated his 35th birthday in October. He is a former track and field athlete and participated in World Championships and Summer Olympic Games. He was appointed the Minister of Sports and Tourism of Poland in 2015.

His presidential term in WADA is three years, after which he has the right to run for re-election.