LONDON – Russia must accept the entirety of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Roadmap To Code Compliance including allowing visits to the Moscow laboratory before it can think of being re-admitted the National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) announced following a meeting in London.
The warning comes on the eve of the opening match of the World Cup in Russia with NADO — which is made up of the leaders of the world’s leading National Anti-Doping Organisations and meet regularly to discuss cleaning up the sport — demanding the Russians also publicly accept the outcomes of the McLaren Report.
NADO’s demands come the day before the WADA committee responsible for the sanctions meet to examine new elements in the case, including a letter from senior Russian sports officials in late May which admitted to a “systemic doping scheme” but still crucially refused to say it was “institutional”.
The latter was a key conclusion of the WADA inquiry led by Richard McLaren, who found that Russia’s FSB security service was involved in manipulating urine samples at the Russian-hosted 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The inspection of the Moscow anti-doping lab the whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, now in hiding in the United States, ran is the other one still outstanding of WADA’s conditions for reinstating RUSADA. So far the Russians have not agreed, saying they must conclude their own investigation.
“On the eve of the FIFA World Cup in Russia, a country which remains non-Code compliant, the Leaders reiterated their firm position that the WADA roadmap must be enforced in its entirety as a condition of Russia’s reinstatement,” read the statement from NADO, 17 of whose members were in attendance including those from the United States, Australia and France.
The statement also backed calls by among others Norway’s Linda Helleland — a WADA vice-president and a candidate to replace Craig Reedie as WADA president when he steps down next year — for an independent review of the handling of the Russian doping scandal.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave Reedie and WADA a particularly hard time prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics when it rejected the recommendation that Russia be banned.
Instead, the IOC left it to individual federations to decide on a case-by-case basis although they did bar Russian athletes from competing under their own flag at this year’s Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
“In the aftermath of the Russia doping scandal, a call has been made for an Independent Review of its handling,” read the NADO statement.
“The Leaders strongly support this call. Further to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) need to consider such a review, the Leaders shall provide their input.”
A final recommendation from NADO was that athletes should be more implicated in WADA.
“The Leaders think it is crucial that there must be independent athlete representation within WADA decision making bodies, and that the Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights be incorporated within the Code.”