Craig Reedie, the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, has remarked Russia still needs to admit that it had a problem before it can be declared completely non-complaint, despite the country making a progress in its fight against doping.
One month ago, WADA lifted its suspension on the anti-doping agency of Russia that was banned from testing in November 2015. This was after an independent WADA Commission accused the country of systematically violating anti-doping regulations. The Kremlin has always denied allegations of state-sponsored doping.
The anti-doping agency of Russia (RUSADA) is still deemed non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency but is allowed to resume testing, under the supervision of UK Anti-Doping Agency and international appointed experts.
The President of the World Anti-Doping Agency remarked that a major condition for the country to regain its rights was “an admission that there was a problem” and “some declaration of contrition." The WADA chief said this was a condition that is applied by the world governing body of athletics, and it is a condition applied by the International Paralympic Committee, as well as by WADA.
Reedie added there is progress from our point of view and added so there will be a much, much bigger and stronger testing exercise in Russia now that there are more people to do it. The WADA President also commented that one of the problems we had, was there simply wasn't enough capacity in Russia to do all the checks that we wanted and added there are not enough independent testers in Russia.
In another development, Lizzy Yarnold has remarked the anti-doping agency of Russia may be on the path to redemption but it would take long for athletes to trust the country again. The reigning Olympic skeleton champion voiced her opposition to the fact that one nation (Russia) was conspicuous by their absence. Yarnold was clearly perturbed at the list of 35 skeleton athletes by the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) who will be subjected to regular anti-doping checks during the season. The list features only Russians in Anastasia Kohcherzhova and four-man team member Andrey Lylov. The Sochi 2014 gold medalist said it is extremely surprising to learn that there are three GB athletes in the pool of 11 and no Russians, especially after the findings of the McLaren Report. The reigning Olympic skeleton champion added she is surprised there are no Russian skeleton athletes on the list and there seems to be a limited cross-section of athletes from different nations.
Latvian skeleton boss Dainus Dukurs echoed the comments of Yarnold and remarked this is surely not helping a doping-clean sport when none of Russian skeleton athletes are on the list.
The IBSF, in response to Yarnold, remarked it IBSF follows the World Anti Doping Agency Code and its own anti-doping rules. In close cooperation with WADA and National Anti-Doping Organizations we will protect all our clean athletes.
Bobsleigh and skeleton was one of the countless sports where sportspersons from Russia were supposedly implicated in doping. Four athletes, including Olympic skeleton champion Alexander Tretiakov, received provisional suspensions after being named in Richard McLaren report. However, an IBSF independent tribunal lifted the provisional ban after concluding there was "not yet sufficient evidence" to maintain the provisional suspensions.
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