The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) voted Thursday to officially reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), officially ending the nearly three-year suspension of the Russian organization. Though the original standards for Russian reinstatement have not been met, WADA’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC) suggested that RUSADA should be reinstated under amended criteria.
RUSADA and WADA remained in gridlock for months as former President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Alexander Zhukov repeatedly refused to comply with two outstanding criteria put forward in the RUSADA Roadmap to Compliance laid out by WADA. First, Russia was ordered to publicly accept and acknowledge the findings of the 2016 McLaren Report, which revealed the existence of a State-sponsored doping scheme in Russian Sports. Second, RUSADA was commanded to allow WADA officials access to the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, its samples and data. Now, however, the standards for Russian compliance have been lowered to the following:
- Acceptance of the IOC Disciplinary Commission’s report, also known as the Schmid Report, which backs off the allegations that Russian doping was in fact State-sponsored, and
- Permission for one “independent expert” to examine the Moscow Lab, its samples and data, as opposed to a team of WADA officials.
Zhukov and the ROC would not accept the full findings of the McLaren Report, citing an “evolution of wording,” which Zhukov cited as vindication of the Russian government for its role in Russian doping. In a separate report led by Samuel Schmid of the IOC Disciplinary Commission, the wording regarding the role of the State in Russian doping was described as “An institutional conspiracy existed across summer and winter sports athletes who participated with Russian officials within the Ministry of Sport and its infrastructure, such as RUSADA, CSP and the Moscow Laboratory, along with the FSB for the purposes of manipulating doping controls.”
Athletes and other governing bodies of sport from around the world have responded to WADA’s accelerated plan to reinstate RUSADA, including the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), and the USA Swimming Athletes’ Committee, which urged WADA to stand with athletes and demand Russia be held to the strict standards originally set for its reinstatement. Prior to the vote to reinstate RUSADA, the IOC Athletes’ Committee tweeted that it “agreed in principle with the recommendations made” by WADA’s CRC, and that it also “would like to see a clear process & timeline for receiving & fully verifying the lab data.”
The IOC Athletes' Commission have discussed in detail the recommendations of the @wada_ama Compliance Review Committee (CRC) and agreed in principle with the recommendations made. We would like to see a clear process & timeline for receiving & fully verifying the lab data.
— Athlete365 (@Athlete365) September 19, 2018