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UKAD Athlete Commission statement following Russia’s missed WADA deadline

  • The Russian Anti-Doping Agency must once again be declared non-compliant and suspended.
  • President, Sir Craig Reedie and Director General, Olivier Niggli should show leadership and take responsibility for WADA’s decision making.
  • We call on WADA to do what is right by the athletes, their families, their fans and their sport.

1 January 2019

On 20 September 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) made a decision that shocked and devastated the world’s athletes, sports fans and supporters of clean sport by reinstating the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) based on promises from Russia that it would hand over all the electronic athlete anti-doping laboratory data before 31 December. WADA’s leadership chose to seek a compromise with Russian Sporting Officials behind closed doors. They dismissed athletes and many National Anti-Doping Agencies who urged caution or to abandon their strategy all together, to stick to the original WADA ‘roadmap’. On 13 September the UK Anti-Doping Athlete Commission led an unprecedented mobilisation of athletes to unite behind the ‘No U-Turn WADA’ letter. A letter signed by The British Cycling Rider Representative Group, British Athletes Commission Athletes Advisory Group, British Canoeing Athlete Representative Group, UK Athletics Athletes’ Commission, British Rowing and British Bobsleigh and Skeleton. In addition, individuals such as Lizzy Yarnold OBE, Sir Chris Hoy and UK Sport Chair, Dame Katherine Grainger also signed the letter. The strength of feeling among British athletes is clear and our concerns have now found to be completely justified.

It is now 1 January 2019 and unfortunately the Russian Government has clearly not fulfilled its promise. In a public statement the WADA President Sir Craig Reedie “100 per cent” guaranteed that the Russian government would comply with WADA’s compromised terms. These terms have not been met.

The Russian State need to prove unequivocally that they have learned from the biggest doping scandal under WADA’s watch, and that they will for this date forward be committed to a drug free, transparent regime across international sport. Otherwise the WADA Compliance Review Committee and the WADA Executive Committee must now immediately, declare RUSADA non-compliant. They should only consider a declaration of compliance once WADA has received and verified the electronic data as well as access to all the samples in the Moscow Laboratory.

WADA’s leadership has the opportunity to stand up for the interests of athletes, their families, their fans and their sport. To create a global level playing field where talent and hard applied work are rewarded fairly.

We trust that those we look to for leadership will demonstrate their resolve and commitment to clean sport.

In the name of sport, it is time to do what is right.

UK Anti-Doping Athlete Commission.