WADA is still monitoring the drug situation in Russia

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is still monitoring testing operations in Russia ahead of a decision on the country’s reinstatement.

The current two-year ban from international sport imposed by WADA on Russia for widespread, state-sponsored violations of anti-doping regulations expires at the end of the year.

Some Russians have continued to compete internationally as “neutral” athletes, including at the last two Olympics, but the country’s isolation after the war began further complicated the doping control process.

WADA President Witold Banka, who reiterated the organization’s condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation”, said it was still able to monitor the work of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

“We have an open line of communication with RUSADA to make sure the war is not a paradise for cheaters,” the Pole told reporters at the WADA World Education Conference in Sydney.

“We are watching them closely to see what they are doing…we haven’t shut down that line of communication.

“So what will happen in the next few weeks, months, due to the war and the situation in Ukraine, and the Russian situation, is hard to predict.

“We have to wait until the end of the year, we are watching what they are doing, seeing in the coming weeks or months what will happen in terms of (re-entry) into the system.”

Photo: AFP

RUSADA said this week it had completed its investigation into figure skater Kamila Valieva’s positive test and would soon hold hearings into the case.

Valieva failed a doping test at the Russian national championships in December 2021, but the result was not known until February 8, a day after helping her team win a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.

“We know the hearing date, so we have to wait for the decision and then WADA will decide what to do,” Banka added.

“We are following this matter very closely and last month I expressed my desire to expedite the process. Now that we know the hearing could take place very soon. Let’s see.”

The skaters from the United States and Japan, who finished second and third behind the Russian team in Beijing, have still not received their medals and their wait will be extended in the event that WADA appeals any sanction from the RUSADA inflicted on Valieva.


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