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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Russian politician backs RUSADA reinstatement

Dmitry Svishchev claims that a lot of work has been done to combat doping in Russia

The World-Anti Doping Agency’s (WADA) two-year ban on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) should be lifted, given the large-scale efforts that have been made to combat doping, the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Culture and Sports, Dmitry Svishchev, says.

Russia was handed a four-year ban from major international sporting events in December 2019, following allegations that an anti-doping laboratory in Moscow had deliberately manipulated data forwarded to WADA.

Russia was simultaneously embroiled in a long-running doping scandal related to accusations of state-sponsored doping of athletes at the time, which it has strongly denied.

After the four-year ban was challenged at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, the sanctions where halved to two years on December 17, 2020.

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RUSADA Director General Veronika Loginov has recently gone on record saying the body was “counting on a positive decision” before the end of the year, after doing everything asked of it. On Thursday, Svishchev echoed these remarks and explained the efforts that have been made.

“Honestly, it feels like this and other stories have been dragging on for decades,” he said.

“We proposed to start everything from scratch, we recognized a lot [of things], changed a lot, and this LIMS [Laboratory Information Management System] base has been as it was. 

“Let’s hope that all work within the framework of compliance with the RUSADA restoration process is being carried out accordingly and the suspension will be lifted at the end of December. We in the committee will further discuss the status of RUSADA at the next meeting in November.”

“It is important to understand whether everything is going according to plan, whether there are any failures in the recovery process,” Svishchev added.

“We must be sure that the great work that has been done is not in vain. In particular, we have changed a lot in the legislative framework, and introduced appropriate criminal liability. 

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“It is important to [restore] RUSADA, which, I have no doubt, will be followed by the restoration of all Russian sports.”

Russian teams and clubs have been banned from most international sports competitions since federations followed an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation to take this step following the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in late February.

In the latest editions of the Summer and Winter Olympics, Russian athletes were allowed to take part under the name Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) due to sanctions stemming from the doping scandal.

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