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Russia appoints new anti-doping chief


Moscow: Russia’s anti-doping agency on Thursday appointed a new chief, whose task will be to get the drug-testing authority removed from an international blacklist.

Yury Ganus was approved by a general meeting of the anti-doping agency RUSADA after being chosen in a vote by Russia’s Olympic and Paralympic Committees on Monday, RUSADA said on its website.

“A general meeting of RUSADA members approved the candidacy of Yury Ganus for the post of general director,” the statement said.

RUSADA has been suspened by WADA since 2015 after evidence emerged of widespread state-sponsored doping in the country.

The Russian agency was declared “non-compliant” with the international sports anti-doping code.

The scandal led to Russian track and field athletes being barred from the Rio Olympics last year, and the country remained banned from this month’s World Championships in London.

Little-known Ganus, 53, has a background in business. He is on the board of directors of Sevmash shipyard, which specialises in nuclear submarines. “I see my main task as ensuring in the shortest time possible access for all Russian athletes and federations to participate in international competitions,” Ganus said at the meeting.

He also stressed the need to “integrate RUSADA’s work into the system of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)”.

“We also need to raise the level of trust in the Russian anti-doping system as a whole,” he acknowledged.

He called the new job “a challenge”, adding: “I think working for RUSADA could become a task for all my life.”

Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, quoted by Interfax news agency, hailed his appointment as “one of the latest steps in carrying out the road-map to reinstate RUSADA”.

Previously RUSADA had a succession of acting general directors. One of them, Anna Anseliovich, was quoted in the New York Times in December as saying that there was an “institutional conspiracy” to carry out doping, while denying government involvement. She left her post a few months later.

RUSADA faces an audit by WADA in September that could pave the way to its reinstatement.

In July, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) voted to retain a ban on Russian athletes, saying that it had not made enough progress in its anti-doping fight.

Since June, WADA has given RUSADA the right to plan and coordinate drug testing under the supervision of international experts and the UK Anti-Doping Agency. — AFP

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