The World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency has been met with widespread criticism from across the world of sport, leaving WADA facing crisis.
Both the UK and US anti-doping agencies have urged WADA to reconsider, while the IAAF and the International Paralympic Committee have both warned Russia not to expect its bans by those organisations to be lifted automatically.
The strongest words came from USADA’s chief executive Travis Tygart, who said in a statement that the “bewildering and inexplicable” decision to repeal the Wada suspension “stinks to high heaven,” while UKADA has called the move a “catastrophe for clean sport”.
The step means that RUSADA will be free to test its own athletes and issue therapeutic use exemption certificates. It comes despite Russia still refusing to full admit to widespread state-sponsored doping as alleged in the McLaren report, something that was initially among the terms of their readmission. Instead, a compromise has been reached that allows Russia to accept that “failings were made”, rather than acknowledge the entire McLaren Report.
The IAAF and IPC, meanwhile, have insisted that Russia must still meet that criteria, as well as providing access to the data from testing of urine samples at the Moscow Laboratory from 2011 to 2015, before they will be allowed to compete under the Russian flag again in track and field or Paralympic events.