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Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s Deputy Director General Pakhnotskaya resigns

Earlier in the day, Yury Ganus was sacked from the post of the director general of Russia’s governing anti-doping body
Margarita Pakhnotskaya Artyom Geodakyan/TASS
Margarita Pakhnotskaya
© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

MOSCOW, August 28. /TASS/. Margarita Pakhnotskaya told TASS on Friday that she had resigned from the post of the deputy director general of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

"Yesterday I left the post of the deputy director general [of RUSADA]," Pakhnotskaya, who served as the deputy director general of the country’s main anti-doping body since 2017, said. "I do not like the current situation and, yes, I have resigned voluntarily as I see no sense in continuing. The commentaries will be given next week," she added.

Earlier in the day, members of the Foundation Board of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) voted to sack Yury Ganus from his post of the director general of Russia’s governing anti-doping body.

Last month, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), announced that a thorough audit inspection of financial and operational activities of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency had revealed a number of major violations regarding the agency’s work in 2018-2019.

The audit inspection of the country’s national anti-doping body for the reporting period of 2018-2019 was held in spring 2020 upon the initiative of RUSADA’s founders, which are the ROC and the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC).

ROC President Pozdnyakov also stated that Mikhail Bukhanov, who used to work as a lawyer with RUSADA, was appointed the acting director general of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency until the next election.

"Mikhail Bukhanov has been appointed the acting director general of RUSADA," Pozdnyakov stated.

In November 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency (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 2019, 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 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.

The RUSADA Supervisory Board recommended on December 19, 2019 the agency’s Founders' Board 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 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.