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WADA head says it was right decision to reinstate RUSADA

President of the World Anti-Doping Agency Witold Banka noted that thanks to the decision, it was finally possible to obtain samples and data from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory
President of the World Anti-Doping Agency Witold Banka EPA-EFE/ANDRZEJ GRYGIEL
President of the World Anti-Doping Agency Witold Banka
© EPA-EFE/ANDRZEJ GRYGIEL

MOSCOW, July 4. /TASS/. It was the right decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Witold Banka said cited by the Polish portal The First News.

The WADA Executive Committee reinstated the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency on September 20, 2018 on condition that WADA experts would be granted access before December 31, 2018 to doping samples at the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab, which was sealed off in connection with a federal investigation. On January 22, the WADA Executive Committee (ExCo) ruled to uphold the compliance status of RUSADA.

"Time has shown that it was the right decision. Thanks to the decision, it was finally possible to obtain samples and data from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory. Although the re-analysis of these samples is still ongoing, we already have samples of more than 50 athletes in which prohibited substances have been detected and whose disqualifications can be expected. In addition, data from the Moscow laboratory, which we would not have obtained without the RUSADA reinstatement decision, allowed us to prepare 298 case packages that we have handed over to the relevant anti-doping organizations to take further steps against these athletes, if possible," Banka said.

"As you can see, it was a difficult decision, maybe controversial at the time, but good," he added.

In November 2015, WADA ruled that RUSADA was non-compliant with its requirements. In November 2017, a session of WADA’s Foundation Board in Seoul decided on extending RUSADA’s status as an organization non-compliant with the international standards. At the same time, WADA noted Russia’s substantial progress in reinstating RUSADA’s membership in the global anti-doping body.

In September, WADA launched a probe into the RUSADA compliance status after inconsistencies in the 2012-2015 database of the Moscow lab emerged. On December 9, 2019, 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 or be granted the right to host any major international sports tournament in this four-year period. 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 this four-year period.

The RUSADA Supervisory Board recommended on December 19, 2019 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 Sports (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne. On December 27, RUSADA sent an official notification of its disagreement to WADA and the global anti-doping body have turned this case over to the Swiss-based court.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne is expected to hear a debate between RUSADA and WADA in the period between November 2 and 5.