In an interview with Radio France Internationale, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sir Craig Reedie did not rule out that the next WADA Executive Committee meeting will see the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) declared non-compliant with the organization's code. According to him, this will come as a result of revealed traces of alleged "manipulations" against data obtained earlier by WADA at the Moscow anti-doping laboratory. Sir Craig points to the glaringly obvious fact that the data has been changed.
These statements by the WADA President are the loudest during the Russian doping crisis second wave, which began in September this year. Back then, let us recall, WADA claimed the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory data obtained in January 2019, the transfer of which was a key condition for the RUSADA status restoration, contained intentionally-made "inconsistencies". And now sir Craig Reedie is on record as saying that there are "manipulations" at the Russian end, and the substitution is glaringly obvious. Interestingly, he is doing this even before the experts have accomplished their work on the samples submitted by the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.
As for the further march of the case, sir Craig believes WADA's Compliance Review Committee (CRC) is about to bring forward its recommendations. "I guess it will be a list of recommended actions, after which the Russian authorities will be probably informed about the non-compliance," he said.
It should be noted here that WADA president's stance is in sharp contrast to the position of Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov, who denies any manipulation with the Moscow laboratory's database, adding that questions raised by WADA are a purely technical issue related to how the system itself works and have nothing to do with any specific Russian athletes.
The WADA Executive Committee may take its final decision on the RUSADA status on December 9. This will happen if the CRC proves able to provide the Board with recommendations necessary for a verdict on November 17. And judging by what the WADA President said, RUSADA would be disappointed by those recommendations. And in case of our anti-doping agency's non-compliance, the format of Russia's participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will get seriously affected – up to our athletes' exclusion from this prestigious international competition.
Unfortunately, we have to admit that there is too much politics in present-day sports. And WADA's fierce attacks on RUSADA and the entire Russian sports along with the extremely strong influence of the United States, is a clear confirmation of this. This is largely due to the current stressful international situation, when the United States is trying to preserve its global hegemony and keeps seeking to act as a policeman to the world, including in sports. It is no coincidence that in October this year, the House of Representatives voted for the "Rodchenkov Anti-Doping act" (RADA) providing for criminal liability in case of doping conspiracy.
The document is named after Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, who fled to the United States and accused the Russian authorities of orchestrating the state doping system. RADA provides for criminal liability by imprisonment for 10 years and a fine of up to $1 million. At that, the law is extraterritorial in nature, which involves the arrest of non-American athletes and coaches.
It is worth noting that the United States does not hide RADA's anti-Russian tendency. Losing in politics, the Americans attack Russia in sports. Earlier, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island stated that the introduction of this law is directly related to the need of confronting the "corrupt behavior of the Russian government" in sports. He and a number of other American officials have not hidden that RADA adoption was triggered by the scandal with RUSADA.
Many experts and sports officials, including Pavel Kolobkov, recognized this law weird and granting enormous powers to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and American law enforcement bodies. At the same time, the WADA code does not cover US professional leagues as regards hockey (NHL), basketball (NBA), baseball (MLB) and American football (NFL) that are not subject to WADA at all and pronounce their own decisions on doping cases. Coming as a result are the double standards Washington adheres to in international affairs, and now in the field of sports as well. Which even WADA President sir Craig Reedie pointed to.
The trouble is that WADA has expressed its dissatisfaction with the US only when its interests were hurt and infringed. And when it comes to Russia, this international organization does not hesitate to impose the toughest measures against Russian athletes. For instance, WADA turns a blind eye to doping used by American athletes and basketball players or "asthmatic" Norwegian biathletes. While there is no way to ignore violations by the Russian athletes, which entails their losing opportunity to take part in all the international competitions, like the Olympic Games, despite many years of persistent training.
Besides, WADA prevents millions of fans in Russia from enjoying a magnificent sports spectacle starring our athletes. A reasonable question arises in this regard as to how WADA measures are appropriate to the fault of Russian athletes? Especially given that Russia partially recognized the acts of doping by a number of our athletes, with the country's sports leadership doing its best to remedy the situation. Guilty people have already been punished. Why then punish all the Russian representatives – both in winter and summer sports – for the crime of a few?
It is no coincidence in this regard that Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the Nizhny Novgorod forum titled "Russia – the sports power" in October this year, said the country complies with all the WADA requirements and is interested in its athletes' unrestricted participation in international competitions.