WADA poised to de­cide fate of Rus­sian agency

Gulf Times Sport - - SPORT -

Along-run­ning dop­ing scan­dal could be head­ing to­wards a con­clu­sion when the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency (WADA) re­ceives a re­port from their Com­pli­ance Re­view Com­mit­tee (CRC) next week that could con­firm Rus­sia’s con­di­tional re­in­state­ment. Hav­ing, after much stalling, al­lowed a WADA in­spec­tion team ac­cess to data in a tainted Moscow lab­o­ra­tory on Thurs­day, Rus­sian au­thor­i­ties will no doubt say they have met the fi­nal de­mand laid out in a Roadmap to Com­pli­ance and call for the con­di­tional sta­tus of the Rus­sian An­ti­Dop­ing Agency (RU­SADA) to be lifted.

The CRC will meet mem­bers of the in­spec­tion teams at WADA’s Mon­treal head­quar­ters on Mon­day and Tues­day then sub­mit a re­port to the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee rec­om­mend­ing whether RU­SADA be de­clared com­pli­ant or be slapped with new sanc­tions. Ten­sions and sus­pi­cions are run­ning high after a WADA in­spec­tion team was pre­vented from re­triev­ing the data last month when Rus­sian au­thor­i­ties said the equip­ment be­ing used was not cer­ti­fied un­der Rus­sian law. Ac­cess to the data be­fore a De­cem­ber 31 dead­line had been a con­di­tion of WADA’s Septem­ber de­ci­sion to pro­vi­sion­ally re­in­state RU­SADA.

A sec­ond WADA in­spec­tion team went to Moscow and be­gan re­triev­ing data on Thurs­day but some ath­letes’ groups and anti-dop­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions have ex­pressed con­cern over whether all the ma­te­rial would be handed over and whether it had been tam­pered with. Once WADA is in pos­ses­sion of the data Rus­sian au­thor­i­ties must also en­sure that any re-anal­y­sis of sam­ples is com­pleted by June 30 this year. Un­der in­creas­ing pres­sure to act swiftly and de­ci­sively, WADA said on Satur­day that it would make the re­port avail­able to the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee no later than Thurs­day and an­nounce a rul­ing on Jan­uary 22. If RU­SADA is found non-com­pli­ant and WADA im­poses new sanc­tions, Rus­sian au­thor­i­ties can ap­peal against the de­ci­sion to the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport (CAS), pro­long­ing what is al­ready one of the long­est-run­ning dop­ing scan­dals.

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