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Russian sports minister, WADA chief discuss RUSADA reinstatement after sanctions

Russian athletes will compete without the national flag and anthem at Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as major international events until December 2022

MOSCOW, September 15. /TASS/. President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Witold Banka and Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin have had a meeting to particularly discuss the potential reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), WADA said in a statement.

The meeting was held in Istanbul and was also attended by WADA Director General Olivier Niggli. The main goal of the talks was to discuss the requirements that the Russian agency needs to fulfill together with the Russian authorities to get RUSADA’s status reinstated. In December 2020, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) approved sanctions imposed on the Russian sport, siding with WADA in its case against RUSADA. Russian athletes will compete without the national flag and anthem at Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as major international events until December 2022.

"WADA Leadership had a constructive discussion today with Minister Matytsin and his delegation. We agreed to maintain open lines of communication with the goal of ensuring that RUSADA returns to compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and that Russian athletes and their competitors can benefit from the protection afforded by a robust, well-implemented, and independent anti-doping program in Russia. We will arrange further discussions at all levels so that RUSADA can meet the Court of Arbitration for Sport reinstatement conditions as quickly as possible upon expiry of the two-year period of consequences in December 2022," Banka said.

"The need for RUSADA to retain its independence is critical. There must be no attempt by the Russian state or sporting authorities to interfere with any of its operations. Associated with that, the appointment of RUSADA’s next Director General must follow a rigorous process to ensure the right person is hired for this important position and that they are able to function independently in the role," he added.

The parties discussed the implementation of the remaining reinstatement conditions, the appointment of a new RUSADA chief as well as guarantees that RUSADA’s budget would be maintained. RUSADA’s compliance status was stripped in December 2020, which served as a basis to adopt two-year sanctions against the Russian sport. RUSADA was presented with several reinstatement conditions. In early June, RUSADA received a reinstatement plan from WADA, which should be fulfilled until December 2022.