Decisions made by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are politically motivated as the organization is dominated by NATO member states, which are striving to restrain Russia, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
"WADA’s decisions are passed by fifteen people: 13 out of them are 11 NATO members, Australia and Japan. There is also one African country and one Latin American country…," the Russian foreign minister informed, speaking at a parliamentary meeting with government members, TASS reports.
"When the passion of the fight against doping is focused solely on joining the voice of those aiming to restrain Russia by all means and in all directions, there are all reasons at hand to state an obvious political motivation behind such actions," the top Russian diplomat went on.
On December 9, the WADA Executive Committee (ExCo) approved the recommendations of its Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to revoke the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and to strip Russia of the right to participate in major international sports tournaments, including the Olympics, Paralympics and world championships, for a period of four years.
The WADA ExCo also ruled that Russia must not host, or bid for hosting any major international sports tournament in the four-year period. Russian state officials, as well as the staff of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), were banned from attending all major international sports tournaments for this four-year period.
According to Lavrov, Russia will continue closely monitoring the unbiasedness and transparency of WADA’s discussion of the doping issue, considering the recently revealed information about the data distortion on behalf of Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.
"We are closely following as to what sort of a response would follow the information provided by the [Russian] Investigative Committee that there was another document, which Rodchenkov had offered and which was altered within the database," Lavrov stated.
"We will see how WADA will manage to discuss this issue in an open, transparent and honest way," the Russian foreign minister added.
Last Thursday, the RUSADA Supervisory Board recommended the agency’s Founders Board to disagree with WADA sanctions against Russian sports and to take this case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne.
A group of Russian independent experts stated in a report on December 5 that Rodchenkov and his colleagues, who fled to America after a doping scandal broke out about four years ago, have been altering the Moscow Lab’s database for at least a year and a half remotely from the territory of the United States.
WADA said in a report in early December it believed that Rodchenkov was not involved in manipulations with the database of the Moscow Lab after he absconded to the United States four years ago.
Rodchenkov is believed to have become a WADA informant after moving to the United States and his information served as a basis for Canadian sports law professor Richard McLaren’s report on an alleged institutional conspiracy in Russia’s summer and winter sports, in which the country’s state officials were engaged.
Whistleblower Rodchenkov and his doping allegations
Rodchenkov told Western media in the spring of 2016 that Russian athletes largely used performance enhancing drugs at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi with the approval of the national sports authorities.
On the whole, the ex-doping official claimed that the Russian sports authorities allegedly developed a special doping program for national athletes in order to win most of the medals at home Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.
The former chief of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory also informed WADA about the so-called list of Russian athletes, who on the eve of the 2014 Winter Olympics purportedly used a doping cocktail that he concocted himself and named after a popular Soviet-era soft drink, ‘Duchess Cocktail.’
On June 8, 2016, Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal case against Rodchenkov on the charges of power abuse. On September 21, 2017, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court arrested him in absentia.
In November 2017, the Russian Investigative Committee announced that it would seek the extradition of Rodchenkov, who absconded to the United States in 2015. In addition, an obstruction of justice charges were filed against him. He was also put on the international wanted list.