Other Sport

Russia waits on WADA missed doping deadline verdict

2019-01-21 20:12
Doping (File)

Paris - Russia will discover on Tuesday whether they are to face fresh sanctions over December's missed deadline to allow WADA investigators access to the Moscow laboratory at the epicentre of the state-sponsored doping scandal.

The World Anti-Doping Agency meets via conference call at 1300 GMT to discuss recommendations on the compliance of the Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA).

This is the latest chapter in an affair that surfaced with Richard McLaren's July 2016 report detailing doping in Russia from 2011 to 2015 involving more than 1,000 athletes across more than 30 sports.

The Canadian lawyer's damning revelations led to Russia's athletics team being barred from the 2016 Rio Olympics and Russian competitors exiled from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

WADA had conditionally lifted a ban on RUSADA in September, with one of the conditions being the granting of access to thousands of samples at the tainted Moscow lab by the end of 2018. 

But when a WADA team arrived last month, Russian authorities raised issues with the certification of their equipment under Russian law.

WADA officials finally gained access two weeks later and last week confirmed they had "successfully retrieved" all the data, leading the body's president Craig Reedie to declare "a major breakthrough for clean sport".

For some like former WADA chief Dick Pound the fact that a deadline was missed was "not the end of the world" as "the real objective in all of this was to get access to the lab and the data".

But WADA's critics, like US anti-doping boss Travis Tygart, have slammed the agency's handling of the process as "a total joke" and an "embarrassment".

"No one is surprised this deadline was ignored and it's time for WADA to stop being played by the Russians and immediately declare them non-compliant for failing yet again to meet the deadline," he said.

The head of RUSADA has written to WADA pleading its case ahead of Tuesday's verdict.

In a letter dated January 18 RUSADA director Yury Ganus said it was not his agency's fault that the deadline was missed.

Ganus listed the various strides RUSADA had made to be fully reinstated following its suspension in 2016 over McLaren's findings.

RUSADA had undergone "a profound transformation" and the new body "shares the values of clean sport," he said.

Even if they escape a new ban, Russia are still not off the doping hook.

McLaren estimated up to "600" new doping cases could be unearthed in the Moscow lab's samples.

He suggested the reason for the missed deadline was nothing to do with WADA "but a power struggle within Russia".

WADA can expect further criticism from the likes of Travis should it decide to stop short of inflicting further sanctions on RUSADA, but not from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

In his New Year message, Bach insisted Russia had been sufficiently punished.

"With its suspension from the Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018, the Russian Olympic Committee has served its sanction," he wrote.

Read more on:    wada  |  doping


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.