The Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) voted to restore the rights of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). The decision to withdraw the disqualification from RUSADA was expected, as at the end of last week the WADA Compliance Committee (CRC) ruled that the Russian side had fulfilled all the conditions for lifting the restrictions. Now we should expect restoring the rights of other Russian sports structures - the All-Russian Athletics Federation (VFLA), the Russian Paralympic Committee (RCC) and the Russian Biathlon Union (UBR).
For the removal of the RUSADA disqualification appointed at the end of 2015, 9 out of 12 members of the WADA executive committee voted. "This decision provides for a clear timetable, according to which WADA should gain access to the data of the Moscow laboratory. If these terms are violated, RUSADA will be removed again, "said World Anti-Doping Agency president Craig Reedi on the WADA page on Twitter.
Note that the decision to restore RUSADA was expected. At the end of last week, the WADA Compliance Committee recommended the executive committee to withdraw from the Russian side of the disqualification. In the CRC, it was considered that RUSADA had fulfilled all the conditions for restoration.
However, as Craig Reedy later admitted, this was made possible only by a compromise, to which both sides went. So, WADA refused to recognize the conclusions of the report of its independent expert Richard McLaren, who insisted that Russia had an institutional doping system. Instead, WADA was satisfied that the Russian side agreed with the conclusions of the commission of the International Olympic Committee under the leadership of Samuel Schmid.
The two reports do not differ much from each other, but the document signed by Mr. Schmid notes that at the head of the doping system there were some leaders of the Russian Ministry of Sport. But Richard McLaren argued that doping was covered at the highest state level. In addition, the Russian side represented by the Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation Pavel Kolobkov agreed to provide WADA with access to samples stored in the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory. Thus, all WADA requirements have been fulfilled.
Shortly before the start of the meeting of the WADA executive committee against the withdrawal of the disqualification from RUSADA, the Vice President and the most likely successor to Craig Reedy at the presidency, Linda Helleland, spoke. She promised to vote against the restoration of Rusada in status, but, apparently, was in the minority.
The cancellation of the decision to disqualify RUSADA opens a direct way to eliminating the consequences of the Russian doping history. Recall that until now disqualified remain VFLA and RCC, and the RRF is downgraded in status to a temporary member of the International Biathlon Union. In all cases, the termination of the disqualification of Russian sports structures was tied to the restoration of the status of RUSADA.
Soon after WADA announced the decision, the American Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) called for a global reform of WADA. "The athletes of the world want the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to stay away from WADA. They want to see WADA with authority, force to apply sanctions, determination to make the sport clean and restore the trust of billions of fans and athletes all over the world. Today this work should begin - and it begins - with the reform of WADA and giving it the power to regulate, "the words of the head of USADA Travis Tigart on the website of the American Anti-Doping Agency are quoted.