WADA dis­mayed as Ye­lena re­tains key doping job

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MOSCOW: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ex­pressed dis­may on Fri­day af­ter one of its lead­ing crit­ics, pole vault great Ye­lena Is­in­bayeva, was reap­pointed to chair the Rus­sian Anti-Doping Agency board.

Ye­lena was first ap­pointed as chair in De­cem­ber and given a new term on Thurs­day. Her main task will be to per­suade WADA to lift the sus­pen­sion it gave RUSADA in 2015 over al­le­ga­tions its staff cov­ered up doping.

How­ever, re­la­tions with WADA are frayed af­ter Ye­lena re­peat­edly crit­i­cised the or­gan­i­sa­tion, framed doping al­le­ga­tions as an anti-Rus­sian plot, and called for a lead­ing whistle­blower to be banned for life.

WADA said Ye­lena’s ap­point­ment “is not con­sis­tent with the roadmap es­tab­lished by WADA” for RUSADA’s re­in­state­ment.

“Whilst it is the de­ci­sion of the Rus­sian au­thor­i­ties to elect its board mem­bers, the agency shall be passing this in­for­ma­tion on to its in­de­pen­dent com­pli­ance re­view com­mit­tee for their re­view.”

Ye­lena missed the Rio de Janeiro Olympics be­cause of a ban on the Rus­sian ath­let­ics team over wide­spread doping, some­thing she de­nounced as a “hu­man rights vi­o­la­tion.”

She said on Thurs­day she wants to use the RUSADA lead­er­ship to “de­fend our ath­letes” in sim­i­lar cases, in com­ments to state news agency Tass, but has also said she’ll fol­low a WADA-led pro­gram of re­forms.

RUSADA an­nounced on Fri­day it was seek­ing to ap­point a new CEO to re­place Anna Antse­liovich, who has served as act­ing chief ex­ec­u­tive dur­ing the sus­pen­sion.

The fo­cus is on find­ing some­one to lead RUSADA when its au­thor­ity to col­lect sam­ples is re­stored.

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