Reedie defends WADA role in the Russian doping scandal

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World Anti-Doping Agency president Craig Reedie has launched a staunch defence of the global agency’s role in the Russian drugs scandal.

The systematic use of performance-enhancing drugs at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics by Russian athletes has had major repercussions and has had a chaotic impact in the days and hours before the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.

“This Russian doping scandal has created a firestorm with many anti-doping stakeholders,” the Scot said. “We take the belief that the WADA system actually works because it did expose wrongdoing on a massive scale.

“We see this as an opportunity in many ways to engage with our stakeholders, to strengthen anti-doping.”

The Court of Arbitration for Sport will make decisions over whether the International Olympic Committee must invite 47 Russian athletes to Pyeongchang in the hours before the 23rd Winter Games open on Friday evening.

CAS is expected to announce its decision on the appeals either later on Thursday or on Friday morning.

WADA has an annual budget of around US dollars 30million, from a combination of the world’s governments and the International Olympic Committee.

Reedie added: “We’ve identified that to do what we’re currently asked to do and to do it properly, we need to increase that budget from US dollars 30m to US dollars 45m.

“We are 50 per cent underfunded in terms of what everyone wants us to do.”

Reedie is optimistic of achieving an increased budget.

“No government has come to us and said ‘no, we’re not going to give you any money because of what has happened’,” he added.

A priority for WADA is to have a functioning national anti-doping agency in Russia.

However, for the non-compliance of the Russian agency, RUSADA, to be lifted, they must acknowledge the outcomes of the independent McLaren Report which unveiled the systematic doping at Sochi 2014.

And the Russian authorities must also permit uninhibited access to the Moscow anti-doping laboratory.

“WADA will continue, as it does constantly and at the moment with considerable difficultly, to work with Russian authorities to get them to fulfil two conditions which are still outstanding,” Reedie added.

“I hope this will not continue long term. But having declared them non-compliant in November 2015, we have to cross this bridge at some stage. And we will continue to adhere to the road map which we agreed with Russian officials, which included the two conditions.”

An additional 13 Russians, six of them athletes, have taken their cases to CAS. The remainder are support staff, doctors or coaches.

CAS announced the cases on Thursday, adding: “The applicants are challenging the IOC’s refusal to invite them to participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games.

“They request that CAS overturn the IOC decision and allow them to participate in these Games.

“The directions for these arbitration procedures will be issued during the day.”

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