By Liam Morgan |
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee has defied the outcry from athletes and other organisations by comfortably voting in favor of the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) at a meeting in the Seychelles today.
insidethegames understands nine of the 12 officials agreed with the recommendation from the Compliance Review Committee (CRC), with two voting against and one abstaining.
The decision was widely expected, with one member confirming yesterday that all five representatives of the Sports Movement would vote to declare RUSADA compliant.
WADA vice-president Linda Helleland had already declared her intention to vote against RUSADA’s reinstatement after claiming the compromise reached with the scandal-hit country, undermines the credibility of the organisation.
It comes after a period of sustained criticism directed at WADA from their own Athlete Committee, other athletes and anti-doping groups following confirmation that the CRC had accepted more lenient criteria on RUSADA’s compliance roadmap concerning the McLaren Report and access to the Moscow Laboratory.
The CRC said the country had adhered to the final two conditions, softened and revised as part of a deal between WADA and Russian officials.
The CRC had initially recommended RUSADA’s non-compliance be maintained until they received a letter from Russia, which they judged to have met the two remaining criteria concerning a public acceptance of the McLaren Report and opening up the Moscow Laboratory.
WADA had originally demanded a public acceptance of the McLaren Report but the CRC said a letter from Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov – which stated the country “fully accepted the decision of the IOC Executive Board that was made based on the findings of the Schmid Report” – satisfied the first requirement.
The Schmid Report largely substantiates the McLaren Report as it outlines the involvement of Russian Ministry officials in the state-sponsored doping scheme but its language is not as strong as the document from the Canadian lawyer.
The CRC also judged that a “commitment” from Russia to provide data and access to the samples stored at the Moscow Laboratory via an independent expert met the second criteria.
It led to a furious backlash from the likes of Helleland, United States chief executive Travis Tygart and the athlete commissions at WADA, the International Association of Athletics Federations and UK Anti-Doping – many of whom had called for the Executive Committee not to declare RUSADA compliant again until the initial criteria had been met.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes Commission, however, supported the reinstatement recommendation from the CRC.
Their support was anticipated after IOC members and other sports representatives lobbied considerably for RUSADA to be declared compliant during a fractious Executive Committee meeting in Montreal in May.
RUSADA was first declared non-compliant by WADA in November 2015 following revelations on state-sponsored doping in athletics.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.