(Reuters) – The UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) agency could play a leading role in running Russia’s drug testing across all sports while the country’s anti-doping agency serves a suspension for non-compliance, WADA said on Wednesday.
WADA met with UKAD, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the Russian Ministry of Sport last month to discuss how an effective program could run during RUSADA’s non-compliance with anti-doping rules.
Contractual discussions are still ongoing and once terms are reached UKAD’s involvement aims to ensure that targeted testing is carried out while the RUSADA works on becoming compliant.
“WADA appreciates UKAD’s willingness to assist the Agency, RUSADA and other stakeholders in establishing the necessary testing program in Russia during this period of non-compliance,” WADA Director General David Howman said in a statement.
“It is essential that a quality testing program is in place for Russian athletes throughout RUSADA’s period of non-compliance – clean athletes of the world, and indeed the public at-large, expect no less.”
WADA suspended the Russian Anti-Doping Agency for non-compliance in November following an independent commission’s report that detailed a widespread doping in the country.
The report found cover-ups, bribes to conceal positive tests, destruction of samples and evidence of Russian state security services of colluding with the country’s athletics federation to enable athletes to freely dope.
WADA also said on Wednesday it will name two international experts to oversee the cleanup of Russia’s anti-doping agency and requested that another outside expert sit on a newly-formed RUSADA board.
“There is much work to be done if RUSADA is to become compliant again,” said Howman.
“By appointing independent international experts, WADA will be able to monitor the situation and determine when requirements will have been met that will protect the rights of clean athletes worldwide; and, help re-establish public confidence in the Russian anti-doping program.”
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)