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Olympic pole vault champ notes RUSADA met WADA demands, but hopes for justice dashed

WADA has refused to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency RUSADA
Yelena Isinbayeva Mikhail Metzel/TASS
Yelena Isinbayeva
© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/. The revamped Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has fulfilled all possible requirements to comply with the criteria of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but this failed to sway the international body’s decision, which refused to reinstate RUSADA, Yelena Isinbayeva, two-time Olympic pole vault champion and former head of the RUSADA Supervisory Board, told TASS.

"RUSADA has complied with all the requirements, and similar global organizations can envy its transparency today. It has been able to do even more (than required), going as far as providing access to closed cities, which was practically impossible. We elected a new CEO to the organization, appointed a foreign citizen to the ethics committee, increased the number of personnel and doubled its budget. We have met all the requirements enshrined in the roadmap, but the remaining two are outside RUSADA’s purview. All that is either an attempt to gamble on the situation or an excuse to delay the resolution of the issue," Isinbayeva elaborated.

WADA imposed two requirements on Russia that it has not complied with yet. Russia should publicly agree with the findings of the WADA Independent Commission and provide access to doping samples at the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, which has been sealed because of a federal investigation.

"We assumed that they could refer to the two criteria and hoped for a fair trial. However, that was not the case. They decided to mix everything together and demand decisions from us in the sphere, to which we have no access," the athlete stressed.

Isinbayeva had served as the head of the RUSADA Supervisory Board from March 2017. In June, she stepped down because of WADA’s requirements and was replaced by Alexander Ivlev.

RUSADA’s membership was suspended in late 2015, after the results of a probe conducted by the Independent Commission chaired by Richard Pound were made public. WADA and RUSADA agreed on a roadmap to reinstate the Russian body. Later on, WADA added two more provisions to the roadmap, one of which was recognizing the findings from Richard McLaren’s report. The dossier claimed that an alleged government-backed doping support system existed in Russia at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Russia acknowledged individual anti-doping rule violations but rejected any possibility of the existence of a state-backed doping system in the country.