Russia to hold talks with WADA this week
MOSCOW: Russia’s sports minister said yesterday he would meet with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Frankfurt this week to discuss a roadmap to revamp the country’s scandal-ridden anti-doping system. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) this month provisionally suspended Russia after a bombshell report published by a WADA independent commission found evidence of state-sponsored doping and large-scale corruption in Russian athletics.
Both Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA and the Moscow anti-doping laboratory were also suspended over the report. “We have decided what to do with RUSADA with the laboratory,” sports minister Vitaly Mutko told Russian news agencies. “We will have meetings in Frankfurt on the 25th and 26th, we will design a roadmap.” Russia’s suspension from international competition raises the possibility that Russian track and field stars could be sidelined from next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
But Russia’s sports authorities remain adamant Russian track and field athletes will be in Rio, vowing to retrieve IAAF membership within three months. Mutko said he had discussed the criteria set by IAAF and WADA for Russia’s readmission into the global athletics body with IAAF president Sebastian Coe, and that Russian sports authorities would meet with the IAAF in December. RUSADA had stopped collecting athletes’ samples as of yesterday, Mutko said, adding the country was eager to reaccredit its anti-doping body.
WADA’s report accused RUSADA of “routinely” violating international testing standards and allowing athletes banned for doping to compete despite having been suspended from competition, among other damning accusations. —AFP