Famed pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva will step down from her role as chairwoman of RUSADA (the Russian Anti-Doping Agency), in order for the Russian organization to gain back its WADA compliance.
Isinbayeva has been a bit of a lightning rod as Russia works to clean up its national anti-doping authority after allegations of massive doping scandals within the country. Isinbayeva has decried investigations into those allegations as anti-Russian plots. But according to the Associated Press, Russia will be required to find a different chairperson in order to satisfy WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) demands.
Russia’s Sputnik News reports that the new chair will have to be independent from Russia’s sporting authorities. Isinbayeva, a pole vaulter who won Olympic gold in 2004 and 2008, was selected by the Russian Olympic Committee for the chair position. on March 9.
Russia is working to bring its anti-doping operations back into WADA compliance after spending much of the last year buckling under international reports of state-sponsored doping programs and cover-ups of failed doping tests at Russian anti-doping laboratories. WADA has given Russia a lengthy list of reforms needed to regain its compliance with international anti-doping standards, one of which was Isinbayeva’s removal.
Russian news service TASS reports that Russia’s Sports Minister expects RUSADA to be declared compliant under WADA code by late 2017.