WADA Faced Pressure To 'Deal With Russian Situation Effectively' - President

KATOWICE (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 05th November, 2019) The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) faced pressure when striving to deal with the situation around Russia and banning the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) indefinitely served no one's interest, WADA President Craig Reedie said on Tuesday.

"Clearly, we have all faced pressures to deal with the Russian situation effectively," Reedie said in his opening remarks at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in the Polish city of Katowice.

In 2015, RUSADA was banned by WADA over accusations of a large-scale state-sponsored doping scheme involving thousands of Russian athletes, coaches and officials. Last September, the ban was lifted, and RUSADA was recognized as compliant under the key condition that Moscow would provide the agency with access to a massive database of athlete records.

"By imposing those conditions, we now have gained access to the data and samples contained within the Moscow Laboratory that was, for so long, out of reach. It is currently being used to bring more cheats to justice with dozens of cases now proceeding through the various judicial channels," the WADA chief said.

He added that WADA's decision made it possible to "break a long-standing impasse between the Agency and the Russian authorities" and eventually rebuild RUSADA into "the fully operational" national anti-doping agency it is today.

"With Russian athletes and teams competing internationally in nearly all sports, leaving RUSADA as non-compliant indefinitely served no one's interests, except the cheats," Reedie said.

In September, WADA launched another non-compliance procedure against Russia and gave RUSADA three weeks to explain "inconsistencies" that the anti-doping watchdog found in probes received from the Moscow anti-doping laboratories earlier this year. After receiving the data from Moscow, WADA's investigation and intelligence department suspected that the records had been manipulated before being submitted.

Russia sent responses to the data manipulation allegations on its to end to WADA on October 8.