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Wednesday 07, Jun 2017

  RUSADA Could Be Soon Reinstated, Hints WADA

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The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) that has been suspended over widespread doping in Russian sport since 2015 could be reinstated soon, according to World Anti-Doping Agency president Craig Reedie.

RUSADA was suspended after a damning report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren uncovered widespread doping in Russian sport. The WADA President has now remarked that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency had taken concrete steps to clean up its image. Reedie added RUSADA could resume testing next month based on compliance criteria requested by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Reedie told a press conference following WADA’s Foundation Board meeting that there is a huge amount of work being done. Reedie also commented that the board decided if we receive, and he is sure we will, the necessary information that the Russian anti-doping agency would be able to resume its testing program. Reedie also commented that what has been done at this stage is really important and he is grateful to the Foundation Board for providing, subject to Russia’s roadmap, its green light for the resumption of the testing program. The WADA President RUSADA may resume its work “hopefully” in early June.

The commitment of Russia to comply with the demanded improvements of WADA was called into question by the appointment of Yelena Isinbayeva, former pole vault star as president of RUSADA last December. The former vault star has been extremely critical of the McLaren report and had claimed the report unfairly targeted Russia in what she described as a “political act.” The report by McLaren had uncovered vast evidence of doping across Russian sport that took place with the connivance of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency.

Russia track and field athletes were barred from the Rio Olympics last year after the report, following a ban from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

In a different development, the World Anti-Doping Agency announced the creation of a new independent testing body but admitted it could not compel sports federations to come under its authority. The plan for an independent testing authority (ITA) was backed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that said it would be operational in time for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Valerie Fourneyron, chairman of Wada’s Medical Committee, headed a working group for studying the creation of the new testing agency. Valerie remarked it was a “piece of the puzzle” in the fight against drugs and added the body would allow greater efficiency to ensure that tests improve. However, the chairman of Wada’s Medical Committee added international sports federations could choose whether or not to come under the jurisdiction of the testing body. Fourneyron added it is not legally possible to force them to join, which means that powerful sports federations that already have their own testing regimes may choose not to join. The representatives of the anti-doping establishment still welcomed the move.

Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), said the move was a step in the right direction. Tygart, a long-time advocate of a fully independent and properly funded global drug-testing body, remarked this is the first glimmer of hope for clean athletes after months of pushing for reform. Tygart added the devil will be in the details, of course, but it is an improvement on the status quo.

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Thursday 23, Feb 2017

  WADA Supports Reinstatement Of Russia

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The World Anti-Doping Agency President Sir Craig Reedie has remarked the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA) membership is strongly supported by his agency.

Reedie further remarked WADA is waiting for the Russian side to implement the established re-compliance criteria. Reedie also commented that the World Anti-Doping Agency is resolutely focused on supporting the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in its efforts to return to compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code, but it is first important that there is acceptance of the findings of the McLaren Report in Russia.

The WADA President said his agency is presently working with the relevant authorities in Russia, the two international experts that were installed in Russia in 2016 to ensure that there would be no external interference during the period of non-compliance and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) to ensure that there is an improved, robust anti-doping program that regains the confidence of athletes and the international community. Reedie also commented that a roadmap to re-compliance has been provided to RUSADA, and the ball is firmly in their court.

An investigation was conducted by the WADA independent commission less than two years ago in regard to the activities of RUSADA, the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the Russian Sports Ministry. The WADA independent commission accused certain sports officials and athletes of doping abuse. The commission also alleged that the athletes and officials were involvement in other activities related to violations of international regulations on performance enhancing substances. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency and work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory was eventually suspended.

Since last January, anti-doping regulations in Russian sports have been exercised by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency strictly under the supervision of the UK anti-doping agency.

Reedie also said there are no plans by WADA to change the present Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) system that grants certain groups of athletes the legal right to use banned performance enhancing substances. The WADA President said the Therapeutic-Use Exemption program is a rigorous and necessary part of elite sport; which has overwhelming acceptance from athletes, physicians and all anti-doping stakeholders. Reedie also commented that TUEs are only granted by Anti-Doping Organizations (ADOs) – Ifs (International Federations), NADOs (National Anti-Doping Organizations) and Major Event Organizers (MEOs) – following a robust review process that is defined in the ISTUE; and, evaluation by three physicians specialized in sports medicine and/or other relevant specialties. The WADA President also said the four strict criteria have to be met for a TUE to be granted, and; further, a TUE provides a limited exemption to use a particular prohibited substance or method at a prescribed dosage, frequency, route of administration, and duration.

Last September, personal medical histories of athletes from the United States and other countries were leaked by an anonymous group of hackers. The hacker group announced the hacking of WADA’s ADAMS database and went on to leak documents that proved the World Anti-Doping Agency found an official loophole for sanctioning the use of banned performance enhancing drugs under the Therapeutic-Use Exemption system. It also commented that benefits of the loophole was exploited by US four-time Olympic Champion in gymnastics Simone Biles, US legendary tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, and North American women’s basketball player Elena Dolle Donne.

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Wednesday 18, Jan 2017

  Lawyer Of Russian Skiers Slams McLaren Report

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The lawyer defending two Russian skiers Evgeniy Belov and Aleksandr Legkov has claimed that there are a significant number of inconsistencies in the second part of the McLaren report into alleged Russian doping.

Christof Wieschemann also said the inconsistencies make the identification of athletes questionable. The lawyer said you know that different documents are available that refer to the athletes if you are familiar with the McLaren report and added these documents are not consistent.

Referring to the Russian cross country skier Evgeniy Belov, Wieschemann said he is mentioned for two competitions, in which he did not participate. Belov, who competed for Russia at the 2014 Winter Olympics, was provisionally suspended in December 2016 over allegations of doping. The lawyer also pointed out that the cross country skier was not mentioned in several competitions, in which he did participate. Wieschemann also said there are also no less than ten faulty records in different lists in the McLaren report that refer to Aleksandr Legkov, a Sochi 2014 Olympic champion, who was also suspended over doping allegations.

The lawyer added the inconsistencies discovered by him are not some isolated single cases but a part of a larger flaw. Wieschemann emphasized that he does not think it is a minor error but a big bug he found out. Wieschemann added he would like to highlight that he does not want to challenge the results of the McLaren report in total but said the weakness of the McLaren report is that he was not ordered to investigate directly single athlete and added that he used documents he received from third parties. Referring to his clients Belov and Legkov, Wieschemann remarked it is unlawful and they are liable for damages if the reasons to suspend both athletes are not sufficient.

Wieschemann also said he had already informed the International Ski Federation (FIS) and is expecting a response within a week’s time. The lawyer added we at first have to exhaust the sports arbitration, in particular through the Court Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne and said we will decide afterwards what is going on. Wieschemann said he is hopeful that we will receive a positive result both from the FIS Doping Panel and probably from the International Olympic Committee.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Independent Commission, headed by Canadian sports law professor, Richard McLaren, delivered the second part of its report in December. This report claimed that over 1,000 Russian athletes competing in the summer, winter, and Paralympic games could have been involved in a manipulation system for concealing positive doping tests. The FIS suspended six Russian skiers, including Belov and Legkov, following its publication. The International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation (IBSF) provisionally suspended four Russian skeleton athletes from competing but later lifted the suspension as the federation found no sufficient evidence for the ban. The reversal on the provisional suspension of four Russian skeleton athletes gave the green light for them to compete at the skeleton European Cup in Germany on January 14-15.

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Thursday 18, Aug 2016

  Russian Long Jumper Survives Being Banned From Olympics

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Russian long jumper Darya Klishina, who was the only Russian track and field athlete allowed to compete in the Rio Olympics, has managed to survive against a potential ban from competing in the Rio games.

There were rumors that Klishina had been suspended as new evidence had emerged in relation to the McLaren report, a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) report.

The International Association of Athletics Federations previously confirmed Darya has been banned “based on new information.” The long jumper from Russia appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Klishina’s appeal against the ban. In a statement, the CAS said the parties were informed that the application was upheld and that the athlete remained eligible to compete in the Olympic Games in Rio. CAS said the permanent residence of Klishina in the United States meant she still met the IAAF’s competition criteria despite the additional information provided by Professor McLaren. The CAS statement further reads the athlete established that she was subject to fully compliant drug testing, in and out of competition, outside of Russia. It was also remarked the CAS Panel applied the IAAF competition rules to conclude that the previous decision of the IAAF DRB (Doping Review Board), that the athlete complied with the relevant criteria because of her permanent residence outside Russia, still applied despite the additional information provided by Prof. McLaren and the athlete relevantly established that she was subject to fully compliant drug-testing in – and out-of-competition outside of Russia for the ‘relevant period.

Klishina’s lawyer Paul Greene said the IAAF claimed three anti-doping samples Darya Klishina gave before and during the 2013 World Championships in Moscow showed evidence of being opened and then resealed. This method of manipulating drug tests was identified in an explosive report into Russia’s state-run doping program by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren.

The IAAF had recently confirmed it had withdrawn her special eligibility status. Klishina said he is appealing decision by the IAAF Doping Review Board to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to ban her from the Rio Olympics. The Russian long jumper added she is a clean athlete and have proved that already many times and beyond any doubt. Darya added she is falling victim to those who created a system of manipulating our beautiful sport and is guilty of using it for political purposes.

Klishina was the only athlete (of 136) to be granted such an exemption. The 25-year-old is a two-time long jump champion of the European Indoor Championships and also took third in the Outdoor Championships in 2014 and tenth in the World Championships last year. On 26 June 2010, Klishina achieved a jump of 7.03m, a Russian junior record and the second best junior mark of all time, which was also the second best jump in the world that year, behind only her teammate Olga Kucherenko’s mark of 7.13m that year.

Russia’s Olympics chief Alexander Zhukov had earlier remarked the situation with Darya Klishina appears to be cynical mockery of the Russian sportswoman by the International Association of Athletics Federations.

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