WADA to hold compliance audit after controversial decision to reinstate RUSADA
The World Anti-Doping is to follow up its controversial decision to reinstate RUSADA, the Russian anti-doping agency, with a compliance audit on 11 and 12 December.
WADA provoked a storm of criticism with the decision last month and was accused of compromising on its own remaining conditions for the reinstatement of RUSADA: that Russian officials acknowledge wrongdoing and that they open their facilities for scrutiny by inspectors.
However, WADA insisted that its actions were “grounded in pragmatism,” reflected “flexibility,” and were “entirely in line with the RUSADA Roadmap to Compliance” established in 2017.
In an update yesterday it said that its Compliance Review Committee had discussed the situation of RUSADA, “in particular in relation to the strict conditions imposed by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) for RUSADA to maintain its compliance (with a first deadline for the Russian authorities to provide WADA access to the authentic Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) data and underlying analytical data of the former Moscow Laboratory by no later than 31 December 2018).”
It added: “WADA will conduct a follow-up compliance audit of RUSADA, as per the RUSADA Roadmap to Compliance on 11-12 December 2018.”
Criticism of the decision last month was led by the outspoken Institute of National Anti-Doping Agencies, which claimed that WADA “surrendered to pressure from the IOC and the Russian government to substantially weaken the terms of the Road Map.”
It continued: “This is not good governance, nor does it reflect a good governance model. WADA must be an effective and resolute global anti-doping regulator and governor – exclusively. As the global regulator, WADA should have been objectively enforcing the agreed sanctions and requirements, not compromising them.”
However, Craig Reedie, the IOC president, responded that the decision “was based entirely on achieving Russian compliance, as properly delivered. A regularly monitored anti-doping process in Russia is surely the best way to reassure athletes there, and elsewhere, that clean sport prevails.
“The opportunity to finally resolve cases where we have suspicion, but not definitive proof, could not have been postponed. Russia must now deliver on its formal undertakings. Clean athletes, governments and sport are watching closely, with WADA at the forefront.”
RUSADA was suspended in 2015 amid a major alleged state-supported doping scandal in Russia.