The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) voted on Thursday to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), declaring that RUSADA had fulfilled all the conditions to be deemed compliant with the WADA code.
WADA’s decision led to an outcry from other Anti-Doping bodies who argued that RUSADA had not fulfilled the terms of its ‘roadmap’ to compliance set down by WADA and that by declaring RUSADA ‘compliant’ and open for business, WADA had ‘shifted the goalposts’.
United States Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart called the decision “a devastating blow to the world’s clean athletes”.
RUSADA has been out of business (declared non-compliant) since November 2015, when investigators unearthed a sweeping state-sponsored doping conspiracy that included wide-spread cover-ups of doping positives and even tampering with doping samples at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
WADA laid out specific changes RUSADA would need to make in order to be reinstated, and while the agency had complied with many of the demands, the negotiations were stuck on two important points that could lead to athletes being sanctioned for Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) and possibly stripped of their Olympic medals.
For years, Russia has refused to accept the findings of the McLaren report that detailed the conspiracy and to open up its doors to WADA, allowing full access to stored urine samples and the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) that tracks and stores test results on athlete samples and the analytical findings of the tests.
Will the agreement lead to sanctions?
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