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Russia’s anti-doping head gloomy on WADA reinstatement

RUSADA director-general Yury Ganus doesn’t believe the agency will be reinstated after the WADA meeting later this month © AFP/File / Fabrice COFFRINI

MOSCOW, Russian Federation, Sep 4The head of Russia’s anti-doping body on Tuesday was downcast about the prospects of the organisation being reinstated into the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The governing body of world athletics has said it will uphold Russia’s ban from track and field events over mass doping until such a reinstatement takes place.

“My forecast is negative,” RUSADA director-general Yury Ganus told a press conference in Moscow regarding the chances of readmission when the WADA executive committee meets on September 20.

Ganus, who was appointed RUSADA chief last year, said WADA was under “huge pressure, including political pressure”.

RUSADA was suspended from the world organisation in November 2015 following revelations of a vast doping scandal involving Moscow’s main drug-testing laboratory.

WADA has set out a roadmap detailing the path the body must undertake to rejoin the ranks of recognised testing authorities.

RUSADA has already seen staff changes and serious reforms aimed at restoring the agency’s reputation.

The agency has been allowed to resume doping tests under the supervision of WADA-appointed monitors and the UK Anti-Doping Agency.

However, it has failed to meet two WADA conditions.

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These are granting access to its Moscow laboratory and samples stored there, as well as fully accepting the findings of the bombshell McLaren report into Russian doping.

Russia’s non-compliance has led to an athletics deadlock.

Russian track and field athletes were barred from the 2016 Olympics and 2017 World Championships in London, with the exception of a handful of Russian athletes competing under a neutral banner.

The country was also formally banned from taking part in this year’s Winter Olympics, but 168 athletes deemed “clean” were allowed to compete as neutrals.

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