The World Anti-Doping Agency is under mounting pressure to launch fresh sanctions against Russia after the deadline to hand over data from its Moscow anti-doping laboratory expired.
Travis Tygart, chief executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency, branded the situation a ‘‘total joke and an embarrassment’’ for the beleaguered governing body, which he said should immediately reinstate a ban on the country’s athletes. It is understood any decision on fresh action against Russia will not be made by WADA until the middle of this month.
Sanctions against Russia’s doping control agency, Rusada, were controversially lifted in September on the basis that WADA would be granted full access to its laboratories by the end of last year. However, there have been a series of delays while WADA claimed it was ‘‘ironing out’’ issues with officials in Moscow over access.
Tygart said: ‘‘The situation is a total joke and an embarrassment for WADA and the global anti-doping system. In September, WADA secretly moved the goalposts and reinstated Russia against the wishes of athletes, governments and the public. In doing this, WADA guaranteed Russia would turn over the evidence of its state-supported doping scheme.
‘‘No one is surprised this deadline was ignored and it’s time for WADA to stop being played by the Russians and immediately declare them non-compliant.
‘‘States that intentionally rob clean athletes and corrupt the Olympic values – through the worst doping scandal in sporting history no less – should also be held accountable.’’
Should Rusada again lose its status, Russia may face bans from a second consecutive Olympics and remain shut out of international athletics. Russia’s Minister of Sport, Pavel Kolobkov, said last week his ministry had received a letter from WADA president Sir Craig Reedie outlining ‘‘the options for organising the process of copying the data from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory’’.
The latest delay piles more pressure on Reedie, who said in November he was ‘‘confident’’ Russia would meet the deadline.
Daily Telegraph, London
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