BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

WADA "bitterly disappointed" at Russia's failure to meet deadline

WADA "bitterly disappointed" at Russia's failure to meet deadline
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DENIS BALIBOUSE(Reuters)
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(Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency on Tuesday said that Russian authorities had failed to provide access to laboratory doping data by WADA's year-end deadline and that as a result it will consider sanctions against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

RUSADA was stripped of its accreditation in 2015 after a WADA-commissioned report found evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics. But it was conditionally - and controversially - reinstated in September.

Its failure to meet the deadline, however, raises the prospect of Russia being banned from a second consecutive Olympics and remaining shut out of international athletics.

"I am bitterly disappointed that data extraction from the former Moscow Laboratory has not been completed by the date agreed by WADA's (Executive Committee) in September 2018," said WADA President Craig Reedie.

"Since then, WADA has been working diligently with the Russian authorities to meet the deadline, which was clearly in the best interest of clean sport. The process agreed by WADA’s ExCo in September will now be initiated."

The Compliance Review Committee (CRC) will meet in Jan. 14-15 to review the situation and make a recommendation to WADA's Executive Committee on how to proceed.

If the CRC recommends declaring RUSADA non-compliant and the ExCo agrees with it, the Russian agency will have the right to challenge that assertion to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, who will hear the case and take the final decision.

WADA said it had written to Russia's Minister of Sport, Pavel Kolobkov, and the Director General of RUSADA, Yury Ganus, to officially notify them of the situation and to remind them of the next steps in the process.

"The situation is a total joke and an embarrassment for WADA and the global anti-doping system," Travis Tygart, the CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said on Tuesday.

"In September, WADA secretly moved the goal posts and reinstated Russia against the wishes of athletes, governments and the public," he said.

"In doing this, WADA guaranteed Russia would turn over the evidence of its state-supported doping scheme by today. No one is surprised this deadline was ignored, and it's time for WADA to stop being played by the Russians and immediately declare them non-compliant for failing yet again to meet the deadline."

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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