World Swimming Coaches Association: “Today’s Decision Could Either Be Viewed as the End of Clean Sport or the Beginning”

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The World Swimming Coaches Association reacted Friday to the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency that was announced by WADA on Thursday.

The news has hit the swimming community hard with many people reacting negatively to the news. The International Paralympic Committee released a statement, expressing hope that “the anti-doping system now in place in Russia is very different from the corrupted system that existed and polluted international sport.”

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was reinstated on Thursday after being suspended for three years. The World Anti-Doping Agency’s Executive Committee decided to reinstate RUSADA under strict conditions:

  1. Russia must ensure the data of the former Moscow Laboratory is handed over to WADA by no later than December 31, 2018.
  2. WADA has also demanded that they be given the chance to re-analyze “any samples as required by WADA” no later than June 30, 2019.

In addition to these strict requirements, RUSADA must undergo a successful inspection carried out within four months to ensure RUSADA continues to meet compliance standards.

“There’s a lot of work ahead. There are conditions…in order to definitively be reinstated we need to meet these conditions. So it’s a conditional reinstatement,” Yuri Ganus, head of RUSADA told Reuters.

WSCA’s Full Statement:

The Board of Directors of the World Swimming Coaches Association expresses our profound disappointment and disgust at WADA’s reinstatement of Russia. We are completely in support of the position and statements of the Honorable Linda Helleland and USADA CEO Travis Tygart.

It seems that WADA did not learn any lessons from the world financial collapse of 2007-2011. In that situation, the United States had banks that were “too big to fail.” Those “too big to fail” banks crashed the world economy. Today WADA told us that they have “too big to fail” nations. That will crash world sport.

WADA needs to go the way of Lehman Brothers. Just as Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, today WADA has demonstrated both moral and leadership bankruptcy. Lehman Brothers, a once-respected institution, is no more. The same should be true for WADA. It is bankrupt and should no longer be propped up by the governments of the world.

Today’s decision could either be viewed as the end of clean sport or the beginning. If we allow WADA to fade into moral bankruptcy and urge Minister Helleland and Mr. Tygart to start over with a real, credible, new anti-doping agency, this could be a fresh beginning for clean sport.

Leaving it to WADA to re-test Russian samples sometime by June 30 (in a country where accidents, power failures and heart attacks happen with some frequency) strains all credibility and is a dagger to the heart of all clean athletes.

Mr. Reedie has killed WADA’s credibility. Let it die. Today should mark the beginning of a new, untainted effort in support of the world’s clean athletes.

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with the World Swimming Coaches Association. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.