28 Jun 2017

Russian anti-doping improving

7:00 am on 28 June 2017

Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA, which was stripped of its international accreditation in 2015 after a doping scandal, has been given permission to plan and coordinate testing again under supervision in what WADA called a milestone decision.

Doping in sport. (file photo)

Photo: 123RF

The World Anti-Doping Agency said it was satisfied RUSADA had met four key demands.

RUSADA has been authorised to run tests, using its trained doping control officers (DCOs), under the supervision of WADA-appointed international experts and the British Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD), WADA said in a statement on its official website.

RUSADA was stripped of its WADA accreditation after a report published in November 2015 accused it of systematically violating anti-doping regulations.

WADA said in May that Russia would remain an outcast until four key demands were met, chief among them the removal of twice Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva from her position as head of RUSADA's supervisory council and her replacement with an independent chair and vice-chair.

WADA said on Tuesday it was now satisfied with RUSADA's fulfilment of the four demands, which included drug testers being allowed access to closed cities where it said athletes continued to evade testing, access to athletes' biological passports, and the implementation of a conflict of interest policy.

WADA President Craig Reedie said this represented a milestone towards RUSADA's retrieval of its accreditation although "there is still more to be done."

"After much work by the Agency and its partners, resumption of testing represents an important step forward in rebuilding anti-doping in Russia," Reedie said in a statement.

"We strongly encourage Russia to continue their efforts in the interest of clean athletes worldwide."