Reedie criticises NADOs for politicising Russia reinstatement process
By Jonathan Rest at SportAccord in Gold Coast
Sir Craig Reedie, the outgoing president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, has criticised stakeholders in the fight against doping for putting politics above the desire to find a solution to the Russian crisis.
The British executive, a member of the International Olympic Committee, said January’s controversial decision to declare RUSADA, the Russian anti-doping agency, compliant again even though it missed a deadline to hand over crucial data from its Moscow laboratory, was supported by most countries.
However, a handful of national anti-doping organisations, led by the US Anti-Doping Agency, vehemently opposed the decision, wanting the ban on Russia, in place since 2015, to be extended long-term.
Speaking at LawAccord, an event held as part of the SportAccord Convention, Reedie, who is due to step down in November, said: "Most of them clearly begin to understand that it does not make much sense for them to complain about what we have done because the alternative to some NADOs seemed to be to keep Russia non-compliant.
"The alternative is rebuild and produce a robust [anti-doping] organisation in Russia. Failure to do that, in my view, runs the risk of them going back to the bad old days. That doesn't seem to do anything for clean sport and doesn't protect athletes. A number of NADOs were thinking entirely on a political basis and not a practical basis."
WADA announced at the end of April that its five-person team had retrieved some 2,262 samples from the Moscow laboratory that was at the heart of the Russian doping scandal.
Those samples have now been sent to a WADA-accredited laboratory outside Russia and will be used to pursue cases against athletes accused of doping-related offences.
An update is due to be presented at the next meetings of WADA’s executive committee and board on 15 and 16 May.
Reedie said, although they came late, the samples received from the lab are evidence of WADA’s approach to Russia having been a success.
He continued: "We are not in the business of making people non-complaint. We are in the business of ensuring they are complaint… We live in a political world and they are entitled to their views but my view, as president of the organisation, is to see through the logic, sensible and legal way of doing this.
"Look at the situation that has existed over the past 18 months to two years, it is the biggest political stand-off there has been for years. Diplomats are being dismissed, people are being hacked, in my country people were poisoned. WADA is just about the only organisation that has actually brought Russia to do what we wanted them to do. They are now behaving extremely well."