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UK doping chief blasts WADA over Russian vote

2018-09-19 08:59
Nicole Sapstead
Nicole Sapstead (Getty)

London - UK Anti-Doping boss Nicole Sapstead has blasted the World Anti-Doping Agency over the vote on reinstating the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. 

WADA's executive committee is expected to lift the three-year suspension of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency at a meeting in the Seychelles on Thursday. 

WADA's compliance review last week recommended lifting the suspension after being satisfied that Russia had met the final two outstanding conditions of a "roadmap" to rehabilitation. 

The move comes despite Russia failing to meet two criteria on a 31-point compliance agreed with WADA after the country's doping programme was uncovered. 

Reinstating RUSADA would pave the way for Russian athletes to return to competition across all sports. 

WADA's recommendation has been widely criticised, with the United States Anti-Doping Agency accusing the agency of dealing a blow to "millions of clean athletes." 

Joining the chorus of disapproval, UKAD chief executive Sapstead said: "I don't think it's good governance that something this fundamental should be tabled for a decision at the 11th hour without properly consulting your stakeholders, most notably the athletes. 

"This just looks bad, so bad. What happened to accountability and transparency? I am very uncomfortable that athletes and the anti-doping community have been given such a short time to respond and react to something so important. 

"Nobody has adequately explained why we are sidestepping the roadmap - I don't remember anybody's arms being twisted to agree to it. 

"What does this say about WADA's leadership? What does this say about how we'd respond if, God forbid, it happened with another country? I think they'd say, 'well, you backtracked last time and made a deal, surely we can do that as well'. 

"In times like this you need to hold the line. And if you have to move that line then you should at least have the courtesy to explain why, not in this deceitful and underhand way. This is patronising to us and patronising to athletes."

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