Nicole Sapstead, UKAD Chief Executive:
The outcome of today’s WADA meeting is deeply troubling for clean sport. WADA has cast aside its responsibilities to clean athletes, sports fans and those who work tirelessly for clean sport.
This meeting was an opportunity to postpone this decision to give all relevant parties enough time to put forward their views. We cannot understand the urgency to make a decision.
Over the last week, the world’s athletes have made their voice clear. Today individual sports administrators have spoken.
Fundamental questions remain unanswered in respect of the conditions for reinstatement of Russia. Is the LIMS data from the Moscow laboratory still in existence? Can this data be verified as legitimate and uncorrupted? Will athlete samples needing reanalysis be provided? Will WADA’s analysis seek to clarify any evidence of tampering? If the conditions of reinstatement are not met and Russia faces non-compliance, will the goal-posts be moved again?
Athletes and the anti-doping community will expect a quick process to make sure that any athletes and athlete support personnel implicated in the LIMS data from the Moscow lab are quickly sanctioned and removed from sport.
WADA will need to prove that the conditions attached to Russia’s reinstatement will lead to a tangible outcome. Failure to meet any of the conditions must return Russia to non-compliance.
Athletes have taken a brave and unprecedented step to make their views known. It is now important that WADA communicates how this decision impacts on the interests of clean athletes.
It is clear from the events of the past few days that WADA’s governance system is not sufficiently independent and that the view of athletes and the anti-doping community are not fairly represented. This needs urgent attention and WADA must take steps to restore faith in clean sport and rebuild confidence and relationships that have been damaged.