Ath­letes chief quits over Rus­sia U-turn

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - By Tom Mor­gan and Ben Rumsby

The World Anti-Dop­ing Agency was plunged into fresh tur­moil over its plans to drop sanc­tions against Rus­sia last night af­ter a key mem­ber of the com­mit­tee that made the rec­om­men­da­tion quit in dis­gust.

The of­fi­cial, named by Tele­graph sources as ath­letes chief Beckie Scott, is un­der­stood to have re­signed af­ter be­com­ing “ex­tremely frus­trated” at Wada’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to al­low Rus­sia’s re­turn three years af­ter its state-spon­sored drugs programme was ex­posed.

Scott, a Cana­dian for­mer cross­coun­try ski­ing Olympic cham­pion and chair of the Wada ath­lete com­mit­tee, has pre­vi­ously ex­pressed con­cern that Rus­sia was not be­ing pun­ished se­verely enough. One source said the com­mit­tee mem­ber was “ex­tremely frus­trated by the process and the sub­stan­tive de­ci­sion”.

The row deep­ened fur­ther yes­ter­day as doc­u­ments ob­tained by the BBC sug­gested the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Wada’s com­pli­ance re­view com­mit­tee, Jonathan Tay­lor, still had doubts that Moscow would give full ac­cess to its lab­o­ra­to­ries.

A Wada ex­ec­u­tive board meet­ing in the Sey­chelles on Thurs­day is likely to clear Rus­sia. How­ever, a let­ter from Tay­lor says Rus­sia’s com­mit­ment on ac­cess to sam­ples still “falls short of what was re­quired”.

Wada sug­gested reach­ing a com­pro­mise to lift sanc­tions months ago, it is claimed. The BBC re­ported Wada’s pres­i­dent, Sir Craig Reedie, and di­rec­tor gen­eral, Olivier Nig­gli, wrote to Rus­sia’s sports min­is­ter in June say­ing “this is the most op­por­tune time to deal with the two un­re­solved con­di­tions”.

The let­ter sug­gests a “very mod­est change in word­ing” that would sat­isfy the first con­di­tion. On the sec­ond, Reedie and Nig­gli write that “in the spirit of com­pro­mise, we wish to make a pro­posal”.

Wada claimed last night that “there is noth­ing new or con­cern­ing” in the leaked let­ter.

Protest: Beckie Scott was said to be an­gered by the de­ci­sion to drop Rus­sia dop­ing sanc­tions

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