WADA confirmed the recommendation today, though the next step doesn’t come until the WADA Executive Committee meeting on December 9. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) would become non-compliant less than two years after regaining its compliance. The compliance issue continues to revolve around reports of an institutionalized doping program in Russia, along with data from the Moscow anti-doping lab.
WADA agreed to reinstate Russia’s anti-doping agency in early 2018, despite RUSADA not meeting all of the original standards for reinstatement. One of the key terms of the new deal for reinstatement was that Russia release data from its Moscow anti-doping laboratory. Experts said the data was crucial to help build cases against athletes caught doping, and to exonerate athletes falsely suspected of being aided by what the McLaren Report deemed Russia’s institutionalized doping program.
Russia turned over that data (though there were some issues with timeliness relating to WADA‘s deadlines), but was later accused of manipulating the data. WADA gave RUSADA three weeks this fall to explain inconsistencies in the data, as the World Anti-Doping Agency proceeded with a ‘fast-track’ procedure that could revoke RUSADA‘s compliance once again.
The issue is moving through WADA‘s internal machinery. The organization’s Intelligence & Investigations department, along with independent forensics experts, have been looking into the data from the Moscow lab, and gave a report to the Compliance Review Committee, which in turn passed its recommendation to the Executive Committee. WADA confirmed today that the recommendation is to revoke Russia’s compliance.
It’s now up to the Executive Committee to decide next steps. If RUSADA lost its compliance only nine months out from the 2020 Olympics, there would almost certainly be wrinkles in international competition, though it’s not clear yet what the exact consequences would be for Russian athletes.
RUSADA was deemed non-compliant in November of 2015. The International Olympic Committee didn’t choose to ban all Russian athletes from competition in the 2016 Olympics, though the 2016 Paralympic Games did blanket ban Russia and its athletes, and so did the governing body for Olympic track & field, the IAAF. Many Russian swimmers saw their Olympic eligibility swing back and forth until days before the Olympics, though most of the nation’s top athletes did indeed compete in Rio.