Russia, WADA working to settle issue

Russians Alexander Krushelnitsky and Anastasia Bryzgalova sweeping in the mixed-doubles curling at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February. He failed a doping test and they were stripped of their bronze medals.
Russians Alexander Krushelnitsky and Anastasia Bryzgalova sweeping in the mixed-doubles curling at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February. He failed a doping test and they were stripped of their bronze medals.PHOTO: REUTERS

It will lose anti-doping agency accreditation if it does not hand over data by Monday

MOSCOW • Russia is working with the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) to settle an issue regarding the transfer of laboratory data, the Kremlin said yesterday.

Rusada, the country's anti-doping agency, was conditionally re-accredited by Wada in September, but will lose that status if Moscow does not hand over the data by Monday.

It had been stripped of accreditation in November 2015 after a Wada-commissioned report found evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russian athletics.

Rusada head Yuri Ganus on Thursday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to help ensure that data from the former Moscow anti-doping laboratory was transferred by the end of the year.

In a video address, Ganus said another suspension would deal a serious blow to sports in the country and further isolate it on the international stage.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed Moscow was working with Wada to settle the issue before brushing aside Ganus' concerns as "unfounded".

He told reporters on a conference call: "Director (Ganus) is not fully aware of this work process. He does not know the details."

Peskov added Russia had an "agreement and a general understanding" about how it would work with Wada to transfer the data, although he did not say whether the deadline would be met.

Russia was barred from February's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, after it was found to have orchestrated a state-sponsored doping cover-up scheme at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

As a result, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) invited Russians with no history of doping to compete as neutrals.

However, in a blow to the country's already tarnished reputation, curler Alexander Krushelnitsky failed a doping test at the Games in South Korea.

He and his wife Anastasia Bryzgalova were stripped of their mixed-doubles bronze medals, but Krushelnitsky appealed against his four-year ban on Thursday.

Moscow has long denied the existence of state-sponsored doping, but acknowledged some shortcomings in its enforcement of anti-doping regulations.

Rusaf, the country's athletics federation which was also suspended in the wake of the scandal, has yet to be reinstated, although some Russians have been cleared to compete internationally as neutrals.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 29, 2018, with the headline 'Russia, WADA working to settle issue'. Print Edition | Subscribe