WADA rules Russian Federation 'noncompliant'

Posted November 17, 2017

Kuwait, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritius had also been found non-compliant by the Board, it added.

WADA's decision "has nothing to do with sport or the fight against doping", Igor Lebedev, deputy speaker of the State Duma, or lower house of parliament, said Thursday on Twitter.

The decision is likely to add more pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Russian athletes from the 2018 Winter Games, which are being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Russia, which avoided a blanket ban at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, though its track-and-field athletes were barred, has said its team will only compete in South Korea under the national flag.

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Russia's anti-doping agency (RUSADA) has been suspended since a WADA report in 2015 found evidence of state-sponsored doping and accused it of systematically violating anti-doping regulations. "We of course do not agree with the decision - we consider it unjust".

At issue are WADA's demands that Russian officials admit they ran a state-sponsored doping program, as detailed in a report issued a year ago by Canadian attorney Richard McLaren, and that the country turn over doping samples collected during the time of the cheating.

And, just last week, NPR's Laurel Wamsley reported that WADA had obtained what was described as an "enormous backup file" from RUSADA covering all testing data from January 2012 to August 2015 - a period that covers the 2014 Sochi Olympics, where Russian Federation was dominant.

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Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov pointed to improvements within RUSADA, and insisted it was independent of state control as he pleaded for the agency to be reinstated.

But suspicions remain. Foundation Board member Adam Pengilly asked how WADA could "trust" Russia's new anti-doping regime "until there is a real acknowledgement of what happened?" "This means we will be one the world's biggest anti-doping organizations".

Russia escaped a blanket ban before Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil previous year when the International Olympic Committee allowed individual sports federations to determine the eligibility of the athletes.

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