WADA panel recommends reinstatement of Russian anti-doping agency
A key review committee is recommending Russia's anti-doping agency be reinstated after a nearly three-year suspension resulting from the country's scheme to circumvent rules and win Olympic medals.
The World Anti-Doping Agency says its compliance review committee was satisfied with Russian promises to fulfill one key criterion for reinstatement: Providing access to samples and data that could help corroborate positive tests uncovered during the investigation into Russia's corruption.
A statement from WADA said the committee received a letter from Russia's ministry of sports that "sufficiently acknowledged the issues identified in Russia."
It made no mention of one of the key criteria, which is that the anti-doping agency, the ministry of sport and Russia's Olympic committee publically accept that there was a widespread, government-directed effort to manipulate drug tests in order to win medals.
The recommendation will be discussed at a WADA executive committee meeting next week. The compliance committee's recommendation came with the caveat that the executive committee provides a "clear timeline" for access to the data and samples.
The reinstatement of RUSADA could, at this point, be seen as more symbolic than material. WADA has gradually restored many of RUSADA's functions, including its ability to coordinate one of the world's largest testing operations with help of officials from Britain and elsewhere.
Reinstatement of RUSADA is, however, one of the international track federation's criteria for allowing Russia's track team back into compliance; last year, Russia's track athletes competed as "authorized neutral athletes" at world championships.
WADA has also made a rule that doesn't allow sports federations to accept bids to host international events from countries whose anti-doping agencies aren't compliant. FIFA staged the World Cup in Russia this summer.