Wada rules Russia ‘non-compliant’ in Winter Games set back

SEOUL: The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) said on Thursday that Russia remains “non-compliant” with its Code, dealing a major blow to its hopes of being cleared to compete at February’s Winter Olympics.
Russia’s anti-doping agency (Rusada) has been suspended since a 2015 Wada report found evidence of state-sponsored doping and accused it of systematically violating anti-doping regulations.
Wada set out a road map for Russia to regain its status but at a meeting of its Foundation Board in Seoul on Thursday decided that key criteria had not been met.
Wada President Craig Reedie said the Board approved the recommendation by the Independent Compliance Review Committee that Rusada remain non-compliant as two key requirements for reinstatement had still not been fulfilled.
“Having set a road map for compliance, there are two issues that have to be fulfilled and we can’t walk away from the commitments,” Reedie told reporters, adding that the Rusada has made improvements.
Kuwait, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritius had also been found non-compliant by the Board, it added.
The decision is likely to add more pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Russian athletes from the 2018 Winter Games.
Russia escaped a blanket ban at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro but remains barred from competing in international athletics events. Yuri Ganus, director general of Rusada, said the agency had done everything it could to be reinstated apart from two criteria that had not been met and were out of its control.
“We fulfilled all the criteria that depended on us,” Ganus told a news conference in Moscow. “There were two points that were beyond our prerogatives. Unfortunately they were not fulfilled.”
He did not say what they were specifically but Russian authorities have so far refused to acknowledge the findings of the 2015 report of state-backed, systematic doping. Russia has also not released stored samples from its Moscow lab.
The IOC is set to decide on Russia’s participation at its executive board meeting on December 5-7.
“The decision of the IOC Executive Board… will take all the circumstances, including all the measures to ensure a level-playing field at the Olympic Winter Games 2018, into consideration when it decides on the participation of the Russian athletes in Pyeongchang,” an IOC spokesperson said.
“The pre-games task force (set up by the IOC) will continue to ensure that all athletes eligible…, and specifically Russian athletes, receive the appropriate level of testing.”
Pyeongchang Games organisers said they would await the IOC’s ruling next month. — Reuters