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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

No reason for mistrust with WADA – Russian anti-doping chief

A two-year ban on Russia expired this month and the country is working hard on being reinstated, Veronika Loginova said

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is doing everything in its power to ensure reinstatement with international governing body WADA but there is no certainty that this will happen in the near future, according to general director Veronika Loginova.

“There are no guarantees of reinstatement [with the World Anti-Doping Agency]. The issue has recently been raised very often at various meetings and round tables,” Loginova told TASS in an interview published on Tuesday.

“Everyone says: where are the guarantees? I repeat: there aren’t any. But does it follow from this that we should give up and do nothing?”

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WADA imposed a four-year ban on Russia from major international sports in December 2019 after allegations that data from a Moscow laboratory was manipulated – claims that Russian officials have denied. 

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Russian Olympic Committee building is seen in Moscow, Russia after The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) handed a four-year ban
WADA’s anti-Russia sanctions expire but uncertainty lingers

The sanctions were later reduced to two years upon appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but still meant Russian athletes were forced to compete without their national flag and anthem at events such as the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2022 Winter Games.

The ban formally came to an end on December 17, although WADA president Witold Banka warned in advance that RUSADA would not automatically be reinstated, and would still have to pass through several stages of compliance checks.  

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He also suggested that trust issues remain with RUSADA – something that Loginova said should not be the case.

“RUSADA, within its competence, is taking comprehensive measures to fulfill all the conditions for the restoration prescribed in the CAS decision,” Loginova told TASS.

“We’ll continue to do everything in our power to return compliance status as soon as possible.

“We are as open as possible. I think that now there can be no mistrust between RUSADA and WADA.”

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Loginova stressed that Russia was taking steps to ensure its domestic legislation was aligned with that of WADA, and was settling any payments for testing services, monitoring, and legal costs.

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Loginova defended her agency amid criticism from WADA.
Russian anti-doping boss rejects criticism over Valieva case

WADA and RUSADA are currently at loggerheads over the case of Olympic figure skater Kamila Valieva, who returned a positive result for banned heart medication trimetazidine in a sample taken in December 2021.

WADA has accused RUSADA of stalling in its handling of the investigation – something Loginova has disputed. RUSADA has also said the case must remain confidential, given that Valieva is 16 years of age.

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Loginova added that any disagreement with WADA regarding the figure skater was a “separate issue” to the one of broader reinstatement for her organization.

“These are two separate processes. And quite recently, a similar opinion was expressed by the leadership of WADA,” said Loginova.

“At the moment, all procedures and internal policies followed by the Results Processing Department are in full compliance with international standards.” 

Loginova has suggested it could take up to a year for RUSADA to be fully reinstated with WADA, but has vowed to remain committed to the process.

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READ MORE: Athletics bosses praise ‘good governance’ in Russia

December 28, 2022 at 07:18PM
RT

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