WADA urges Moscow to avoid obstruction of anti-doping measures

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) warned Russia not to obstruct doping tests carried out in the country and called for the post of president of the national anti-doping agency, unoccupied for a year, to be filled as quickly as possible.

WADA President Witold Banka met Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin on Wednesday in Turkey to discuss the future of the still suspended Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA.

In a statement, Banka recalled that it was crucial that RUSADA “retain its independence” and that there should be “no interference from sports authorities or the Russian state” in its activities.

Banka added that the appointment of the next director general of the Russian agency must follow “a rigorous process so that the right person is hired for this important post”.

Irregularities and dismissal

RUSADA remains suspended due to cover-ups of doping cases and manipulation of evidence. Russia sent athletes to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but its flag and anthem were not represented. Its athletes will once again be united under the name “representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee” at the Beijing Winter Games in February.

The Russian agency has been without a CEO since Yuri Ganus was fired in August 2020 due to financial irregularities. Ganus often criticized Russian sports authorities when he was head of RUSADA. He claims that the evidence against him has been tampered with.

WADA assured that the issue of the vacant post was discussed during the meeting with Matytsin and that the appointment of a president remains a condition to be fulfilled to lift the suspension of RUSADA.

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