The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced on Friday that it had referred objections from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) regarding its non-compliance status to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
This decision follows the receipt of a formal notification from RUSADA disputing WADA's allegation of non-compliance relating to "Russian federal sports legislation discovered following an audit in September 2022."
Due to these breaches of WADA regulations, the Russian agency was suspended from 2020 until December 2022 and cannot be reinstated due to two ongoing investigations, said WADA General Advisor Ross Wenzel.
The case was presented to the CAS “earlier this week,” he said during the body’s annual meeting held in Montreal.
Mr. Wenzel also indicated that WADA was still reviewing the conditions for reinstatement of RUSADA relating to the discovery of “massive data manipulation in the Moscow laboratory in 2019”. More than 220 sanctions have been imposed by WADA since then.
WADA notably concluded that “it will be necessary to carry out an audit or an in-person visit”, recognizing however the difficulties linked to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
In the room, several members of the council also stressed the need to communicate more about the anti-doping tests carried out on Russian and Belarusian athletes ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games.
Russia is already hit with a ban on displaying the Russian flag and athletes in many sports following the invasion of Ukraine.
In addition, WADA also confirmed that Russia and Belarus did not intend to pay their annual contributions.
The two countries “no longer recognize the mechanism for distributing contributions through the Council of Europe, of which they are not members,” indicated WADA Director General Olivier Niggli.
“This is a problem for WADA because this fee cannot be compensated by other means,” added Mr. Niggli, calling for support from the Council of Europe.
The cumulative contribution of the two countries is 1.3 million dollars (approximately 1.2 million EUR). Russia's share is similar to that of France or the United Kingdom.
Finally, WADA expressed its concern about the “World Friendship Games”, an international competition that Russia wants to organize in 2024.
The international body said it was “concerned from the point of view of the fight against doping”, adding that it would closely monitor the event.
WADA notably recalled that a country not respecting its regulations could not organize a major competition.