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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