Vitaly Mutko, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, has claimed that “almost all” of the issues blocking the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency have been resolved.

Mutko, the country’s former Sports Minister, made this comment after the recent appointment of Yury Ganus as the new director general of RUSADA on August 31.

Since 2015, RUSADA has been suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency after evidence emerged through a WADA Independent Commission Report that Russia was behind a state-sponsored doping program. The country was barred from taking part in the track and field events at last year’s Olympic Games. Russia was also barred from taking part in the Paralympic Games at Rio 2016. The country is now likely to miss the miss the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang in February.

A roadmap for the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency has been drawn up by the World Anti-Doping Agency but the body has not yet met all of the necessary criteria.

Mutko however expressed a different view. The Deputy Prime Minister of Russia said almost all the issues concerning the road-map have been resolved. Mutko added it is being implemented and also commented there is going to be an audit in September, and another one ahead of the WADA Foundation Board’s meeting. He went on to say that it will be a waste of money if the membership is not restored.

Mutko added there were as many as 700 candidates for director general, WADA picked six out of them. The 53-year-old Ganus was chosen in a vote by the Russian Olympic Committee and Russian Paralympic Committee. Mutko added the RUSADA Supervisory Board, set up in accordance with WADA’s recommendations, chose one of those six people and added we will hold a meeting with him as soon as the newly appointed director general settles into his new job. The Russian Deputy PM also said we have granted full independence to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency and added WADA in fact has been managing the organization. Mutko also said two independent experts have been active whose work is paid by WADA.

The “Road-map to Code Compliance“, a document that was published by the World Anti-Doping Agency is that the Russian Government through the Ministry of Sport must “publicly accept the reported outcomes” of the Richard McLaren Report. The two editions of McLaren report claimed a sample manipulation scheme at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics at Russia. The report also claimed more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in a state-sponsored program. The McLaren report included testimony from former chief of the Russian anti-doping lab who claimed he prepared and provided a cocktail of anabolic steroids and other banned substances to athletes under a state-sponsored doping scheme.

Under WADA requirements, the Supervisory Board of RUSADA must select a new director general via a transparent, external, and objective application and recruitment process that is overseen by two international experts. In addition to this, the Russian Government is required to provide uninterrupted access for international authorities to store urine samples in the Moscow Laboratory that is presently sealed off because of a Federal investigation.

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