Wada maintains suspension of Russian Anti-Doping Agency

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has maintained its suspension of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) stating “nothing has changed” in efforts to return the body to compliance.

Commenting after Wada’s executive committee met behind closed doors yesterday (Wednesday) ahead of a Foundation Board meeting in Montreal, Canada today (Thursday), director general Olivier Niggli said there had been no change in the position of Rusada within the wider anti-doping movement.

“There was no need for a vote (…) nothing has changed,” Niggli (pictured) said, according to the AFP news agency. Another executive committee member added: “It’s still the status quo.”

Yesterday’s decision had been expected with Wada in March stating it would not waver from its two key demands in the roadmap to rehabilitate the Russian anti-doping system, as senior figures again expressed their frustration at the response from authorities in the country.

Rusada remains suspended by Wada, which imposed the initial punishment in November 2015 in the wake of the state-sponsored doping scandal that enveloped the 2014 winter Olympic Games in Sochi. 

Wada has said the country has failed to fulfil two key requirements for compliance – namely to accept the results of Richard McLaren’s damning report into Russian doping and provide access to samples collected during the period of alleged doping.

Wada president Craig Reedie has expressed his frustration at trying to work with the Russian Investigative Committee which sealed the Moscow laboratory at the heart of the Sochi 2014 testing programme as part of its own case.

Rusada director general Yuri Ganus yesterday called on Russian authorities to grant Wada full access to the Moscow lab. “We have for a long time restricted access to samples in the Moscow laboratory, which belongs to the International Olympic Committee and the international federations,” Ganus said, according to state news agency Tass.

“In doing that, we are violating the rules of the World Anti-Doping Agency, whose right is to conduct additional inspections. I don’t understand why we can’t guarantee them access to the samples. Especially since, as you know, this is a matter of trust.”

Ganus added that allowed access was of “the utmost importance.”