The much-maligned Russian Anti-Doping Association (RUSADA) has selected a new Director General, Veronika Loginova. She replaces the interim head Mikhail Bukhanov, who took over the post from Yuri Ganus, who was dismissed from the post in August 2020.
Ganus was surprisingly-critical of Russia and its doping history during his brief tenure leading RUSADA, including admitting publicly that Russia had manipulated thousands of drug tests to keep athletes out of trouble.
Loginova’s appointment was met with a statement of satisfaction from the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA). Per the conditions of RUSADA’s quest for reinstatement of compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code, WADA appointed an observer who sat on the selection committee for the new Director General.
“As per the conditions of the process established by the Supervisory Board, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appointed an observer to sit on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Director General Selection Committee,” the statement said.
“The WADA observer was afforded access to all documentation and meetings held by the committee. Based on the observer’s report, WADA is satisfied that the selection and recruitment of the RUSADA Director General followed the agreed upon process. All available evidence suggests that it was carried out independently and in accordance with the principles of objectivity and due diligence,” the organization noted.
RUSADA is currently serving a two year ban from WADA, reduced from an initial four year ban. While the current ban has been significantly watered-down from what WADA originally imposed, the result of an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, it still does carry some consequences. Russians are not allowed to sit on the boards of any major international sporting organizations. That includes FISU, the organization that runs the World University Games, whose Russian president stepped aside earlier this year for the duration of the suspension.
The country was not allowed to fly its flag, and its athletes were not allowed to represent “Russia,” at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and also won’t be able to at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Games. The country was also barred from bidding on upcoming major international events during the duration, though they continue to host major international events.
Loginova is an advisor to the Russian International Olympic University’s rector on anti-doping programs and a member of the Russian Athletics Federation’s disciplinary commission. The Russian Athletics Federation is currently under a suspension independent of the RUSADA suspension, which has been extended by World Athletics into a 7th year.