London - World Anti-Doping Agency president Craig Reedie has
described as "deeply offensive" an accusation that the agency put
money over clean sport following its decision to lift a ban on Russia's
The decision was taken last week at a meeting of WADA's
executive committee in Victoria, the capital of the Indian Ocean island of
The agency suspended RUSADA in November 2015 after declaring
it non-compliant following revelations of a vast state-backed scheme to avoid
The softening of WADA's stance triggered outrage from
athletes and national anti-doping agencies around the world. They accused WADA
of succumbing to pressure from the International Olympic Committee.
Former WADA director general David Howman strongly
"So WADA has gone from being an organisation that cared
about clean athletes to one that cares about international federations that
have not been able to stage events in Russia - it's money over
principle," he said.
But in an open letter, Reedie, who said Russian doping had
"poisoned sport", defended WADA's move.
"Emotions are running understandably high," he
said. "With Russian relations returning to Cold War levels of frostiness,
there has been much recent public criticism of WADA for permitting and even
"In particular, the accusation that WADA - and me
personally - have pandered to the interests of money over clean sport are
totally untrue, and deeply offensive. The author of those remarks, as a former
director general of WADA, should know better."
Reedie's letter states that 29 of the 31 criteria of the
"compliance roadmap" had been achieved.
"Only the acknowledgement of wrongdoing and access to
the Moscow laboratory remained... on 13 September, a response finally
arrived," said Reedie.
"It offered both an acknowledgement of wrongdoing and
established a tight timeframe for access. The independent experts felt this
sufficed. They proposed reinstatement, pending a critical deadline of 31
December for the access we require."
"But the deadline, and a further decision that failure
to deliver would inevitably result in renewed non-compliance, places WADA in a
much stronger position than at any time in the past four years, especially
since newer and stronger sanctions would apply," he added.