Russia should not expect its anti-doping agency to be automatically reinstated when its two-year ban expires next month, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Witold Banka has said.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was declared non-compliant by WADA in 2019 and issued a four-year ban after allegations of tampering with lab data.
This sanction was halved on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in 2020 and is due to end on December 17 this year.
Banka was re-elected to his post for a second three-year term on Friday and discussed the Russia issue at a press conference in Montreal.
“The reintegration process does not end on December 17, in fact the process only begins on this date”, Banka said in comments shared by Reuters.
“During all three phases of this process, compliance would be rigorously assessed.
“And of course we’ll have to check each of the reinstatement conditions…not just take anyone’s word for it.”
The Polish head of WADA said his organization was not “naive” and accused Russia of committing “the most heinous crime against clean sport.”
“We know that trust in Russia and its anti-doping system is extremely low and of course there is a reason for that,” said the official.
The ban imposed by WADA followed sanctions already imposed due to longstanding allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia – which the country has vehemently denied.
The doping scandal cost many Russian athletes their place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, while others were only allowed to compete in the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang as “Olympic athletes from Russia”.
The lab manipulation allegations emerged after RUSADA was reinstated in 2018, and meant Russian athletes were once again forced to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Games and 2022 Beijing Olympics under neutral status.
The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) recommendation in February to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes due to the conflict in Ukraine is currently complicating Russia’s full return to the world sporting fold.
RUSADA and WADA are also at odds over the doping investigation into teenage Olympic figure skater Kamila Valieva, with the latter organization expressing dissatisfaction with the way the case was handled in Russia.
The AMA filed a complaint with CAS, where it seeks a four-day ban for Valieva, who was 15 when she tested positive for the banned heart drug trimetazidine.
RUSADA, led by Chief Executive Veronika Loginova, insisted that it had completed all the necessary steps outlined by WADA on the roadmap to be declared compliant in December.
A Russian politician supports the reintegration of RUSADA
Commenting on Banka’s latest remarks, the head of the Russian Wrestling Federation, Mikhail Mamiashvili, said they were not unexpected given the current climate.
“A whole series of measures are already working [in Russia against doping]. Why doesn’t the AMA see this work? » Mamiashvili asked, speaking to RIA Novosti.
“Because they are very politicized. These subjects are inseparable. »