WADA chief backs 'clean' Russian athletes at 2018 Winter Olympics

Mar 15, 2017, 00:52
WADA chief backs 'clean' Russian athletes at 2018 Winter Olympics

Russian Federation needs to recognise the findings of the now-infamous McLaren report on the alleged violations of doping rules during the 2014 Winter Olympics for restoration of membership of its anti-doping agency (RUSADA) with the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA President Craig Reedie said on Monday.

Sadovnichy also said that the university was ready to invite for future work foreign specialists as well as domestic experts from the now suspended Moscow anti-doping laboratory.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has been suspended since the eruption of the scandal over the widespread use of banned substances in Russian sport in 2014.

According to The Times of London, Portugalov is believed to have provided banned substances to Russian athletes primarily in track & field, but also in other sports (including swimming).

Russia's track and field athletes were banned from last year's Rio de Janeiro Olympics but the International Olympic Committee refused to exclude its entire Olympic team, despite being urged to do so by WADA.

"There remains significant work to do".

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Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov has told the global anti-doping community his country is "ready to pass any test" but once again denied there has ever been a "state-sponsored" programme in Russia. "It must demonstrate its processes are autonomous and independent from outside interference", said Reedie, who added the RUSADA hadn't proven that it was shielded from outside influences.

"We have tripled RUSADA's budget and we've placed the anti-doping laboratory under the control of the University of Moscow and no longer under the ministry of sports". The whole Russian Paralympic team was also barred from taking part in the 2016 Summer Paralympics.

A German broadcaster implicated Portugalov in an alleged state-run doping scheme, prompting WADA to recommend in 2015 that he not be allowed to participate in government programs involving any sport.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has levied a lifetime ban against a Russian doctor found guilty of breaking doping regulations.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is not an independent body and in its current state can not police sport as it lacks the powers of a global regulator, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief Travis Tygart said on Monday.

His explosive report revealed an "institutionalised" Russian doping programme that "sabotaged" the London 2012 and Sochi 2014 Olympics, and helped more than 1,000 Russian athletes from nearly all sports evade tests.