A serious clash of approach in terms of how to effectively punish doping in sport will take place this week when the World Anti Doping Agency will consider a recommendation from its own Compliance Review Committee to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency to full membership.
Sport Ireland will oppose the move having issued a strongly worded statement yesterday calling for RUSADA not to be reinstated until all ‘RUSADA: Roadmap to Compliance’ criteria have been satisfied in full.
“The confirmation from WADA that the organisation’s Compliance Review Committee will recommend the reinstatement of RUSADA at this week’s WADA Executive Committee meeting is deeply worrying,” said Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy.
“This is despite the fact that two of the criteria outlined in WADA’s own ‘Roadmap to Compliance’ remain outstanding.
“The wording of this document is very clear; Russia must publically accept the reported outcomes of the McLaren Investigation, and must provide access for appropriate entities to the stored urine samples in the Moscow Laboratory. Neither of these criteria have been satisfied.”
“What is also clear is that WADA has softened its stance on the strict conditions which are laid out on the ‘Roadmap to Compliance’ and it is our view that this is not in the interests of clean athletes and all those who believe in protecting the integrity of sport.”
Vice President of WADA and a likely candidate for the top job next year, Norway’s Linda Helleland has come out strongly against the proposal, which will be voted on behind closed doors on Thursday.
“This moment will forever define the credibility of WADA as the independent and strong front-runner for clean sport,” she said in an unambiguous statement of her position.”
“What we ask of WADA is for transparency on this matter,” added Sport Ireland Director of Participation and Ethics, Dr Una May.
“If Russia has accepted the findings of the McLaren Report, it has not been done publically. A letter dated just last week references the Schmid Report, however, the letter makes no reference to the McLaren Report.”
“What is also evident from that letter is that access to data and samples in the Moscow Laboratory has also not been granted. RUSADA should not be reinstated before the two remaining criteria have been met – clean athletes who compete on a fair playing field deserve this.”
It will be interesting to read the justification from the Compliance Committee as to why they believe this step should be taken.
If it is voted down tomorrow then a question will still remain over what evidence they used to suggest the reinstatement.
If it is accepted though then there will be a much closer examination needed of just what world sport is willing to do in defence of clean competition.
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