Explainer: WADA gets ready to rule on Russia compliance

Sports

(Reuters) – An explainer ahead of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Compliance Review Committee’s (CRC) meeting on Jan. 14-15 in Montreal where a report will be submitted to the executive committee making recommendations on the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA):

IS RUSADA SUSPENDED?

No. At a meeting in the Seychelles in September, WADA’s executive committee voted to reinstate the Russian agency, which had been suspended since November 2015 over alleged state-backed doping. That reinstatement, however, was conditional on Russia allowing access to a tainted Moscow laboratory and data in the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

SO WHERE ARE WE?

Russian authorities had indicated they were prepared to allow a five-member WADA inspection team access to the lab before a Dec. 31 deadline but then threw up a late roadblock, saying the equipment being used to extract the data was not certified under Russian law.

Facing new sanctions, Russia opened the door to a second, three-member WADA inspection team on Jan. 9 when the data extraction process began.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The inspection teams will meet WADA’s Compliance Review Committee at the agency’s Montreal headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Russian authorities will have the opportunity to make submissions to the CRC for their consideration. The CRC will file a report to the WADA executive committee no later than Thursday which could recommend that RUSADA be ruled compliant or that new sanctions be considered. The executive committee will announce its decision on Jan. 22.

SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?

Russian authorities will say they have now met all the requirements in the Road Map to Compliance laid out by WADA and that RUSADA’s provisional status should be lifted. However, athletes’ groups and anti-doping organizations have concerns about whether all data and testing samples were handed over or whether they might have been tampered with.

END GAME

If WADA is satisfied that Russia has met all the obligations RUSADA’s conditional reinstatement will be confirmed.

If WADA is not satisfied it has received full cooperation it can impose new sanctions. Russia would then have 21 days to appeal against WADA’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Clare Fallon

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