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Lavrov takes swipe at WADA, vows Russia will strive for global equity on doping issues

The Russian foreign minister pointed out that the World Anti-Doping Agency was a structure controlled by the West, since NATO countries and their closest allies occupied the majority of seats on the organization’s supervisory board

MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. Moscow intends to work towards a universal and equal approach to all countries on the issue of doping in sports, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a webinar on Russia’s foreign policy on Friday.

"We will strive for a universal, equal approach for all countries, even within the framework of those conventions on fighting doping that were approved and that have mechanisms of their implementation within the framework of the Council of Europe and within the framework of UNESCO," he pledged.

The top diplomat noted that it is necessary to combat doping in sports. "Yet, when Russia’s meldonium suddenly makes it to the list while a complete American biochemical analogue doesn’t, or when all Scandinavian skiers are asthmatics and are allowed to take a prohibited medication as a medical exception, it is obvious to the naked eye," he explained.

The foreign minister added that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was a structure controlled by the West, since NATO countries and their closest allies occupied the majority of seats on the organization’s supervisory board.

In December 2020, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) published a ruling on the WADA case against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). A number of sanctions were taken against RUSADA. Until December 2022, Russia is not allowed to host or apply to host any Olympic and Paralympic Games or World Championships. Furthermore, the national teams at these tournaments are not allowed to use their national symbols and anthem, and government employees are barred from occupying posts in national and international federations. The decision affects all Olympic and non-Olympic organizations that signed the WADA charter.