Athletes chief quits over Russia U-turn
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