WADA Bosses To Decide Fate Of Russian Sport At December 9 Compliance Meeting

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WADA’s Russia Decision Day On December 9

Russian athletes are due to be heard before Christmas whether they can still include the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in their plans.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee (ExCo) will meet on December 9 to decide the fate of Russia, including a possible whole-nation ban, after considering formal recommendations from the organisation’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC).

Decision date was set yesterday at a meeting of CRC members after they had considered a report from the Agency’s Intelligence and Investigations Department (I&I) and independent forensic experts into ongoing compliance procedure brought against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), the role of the Russian Ministry of Sport in the mix.

The December 9 meeting will be significant to all Russian sports, including swimming, and the legacy of Sir Craig Reedie, whose presidency of WADA ends at the close of this year.

In a WADA statement, the global anti-doping police body, noted: “The WADA I&I report was based on its assessment of a number of inconsistencies found in some of the data that was retrieved by WADA from the Moscow Laboratory in January 2019. This assessment included consideration of responses from the Russian authorities to a list of detailed and technical questions, including follow-up questions, raised by WADA I&I and the independent forensic experts.

“These questions gave RUSADA and the Russian Ministry of Sport an opportunity to explain the inconsistencies, as part of WADA’s decision on 17 September 2019 to open a formal compliance procedure against RUSADA. WADA continues to pursue this matter robustly and as quickly as practicable, while ensuring that due process is respected, as outlined in the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories.”

Meanwhile, the 47 cases that were sent by WADA in July to a number of International Federations for action were based on data that were unaffected by these inconsistencies, WADA stated in a note that confirmed two significant news lines.

When WADA noted that the 47 cases “can proceed without delay”, it also told the world to brace itself for the next round of revelations, stating that “more such cases will follow in due course”.

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Sir Craig Reedie – Photo Courtesy: WADA

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Witold Bańka – Photo Courtesy: WADA

None of those cases involve the much larger number of test samples included in the investigation and report in cases involving “inconsistencies” believed to include athletes from aquatic sports.

Whatever the meeting of WADA bosses on December 9 decides, it appears that we can expect further revelations ahead at the start of Olympic Year 2020.

Meanwhile December 9 will mark the last set of decisions taken by Sir Craig, who gives way to the start of a new era on January 1, 2020, when Witold Banka, the former Polish 400m runner and Sports Minister, takes over the WADA presidency.