WADA thanks UKAD for stepping in to assist with Russian crisis

Published: Wednesday 20th January 2016 by The News Editor

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World anti-doping chiefs have hailed their UK counterparts for stepping in to help run drug-testing programmes across all sports in Russia.

The UK Anti-Doping agency (UKAD) is in negotiations to assist the Russian Anti-Doping agency (RUSADA) following the scandal that erupted in athletics.

Now World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) bosses have praised UKAD for offering their support as Russia looks to move past the deep-seated crisis.

“WADA appreciates UKAD’s willingness to assist the agency, RUSADA and other stakeholders in establishing the necessary testing program in Russia during this period of non-compliance,” said WADA director general David Howman.

“It is essential that a quality testing program is in place for Russian athletes throughout RUSADA’s period of non-compliance – clean athletes of the world, and indeed the public at large, expect no less.

British anti-doping bosses also confirmed the continued discussions over the finer detail of the deal to help Russia’s protracted steps towards rebuilding their drug-testing program.

UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead s aid: “News coming out of Russia is that we are about to sign a contract with RUSADA. We are in contractual negotiations, it’s specifically in relation to assisting them in running testing programmes across all sports in Russia.”

RUSADA was declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after its independent commission reported on “state-sponsored” doping in the country with positive tests covered up and samples destroyed.

Sapstead admitted that one issue was whether it would affect UK Anti-Doping’s reputation as a world leader if there were Russian scandals in the future.

She added: “That is a consideration for us and it would be foolish to say it’s not. There is a lot to be gained but there is a lot to lose for us. Money is not driving any decision that we make.”

Sapstead said it would be “naive” to believe that Russia and athletics were the only problem areas.

She said: “This was an initial approach to us by WADA. It is not a done deal at this moment.

“If you are talking about state-sponsored doping you question whether it is just limited to just athletics, you have to be careful you are not singling one sport out in an effort to avoid a bigger issue.

“If anyone thinks this is purely about Russia and purely about athletics they are supremely naive.

“It is not single figures, the countries where they need to do more, I’m not saying it’s state-sponsored or corrupt it’s whether they are fit for purpose. I would say there is a big question mark over a number of countries’ anti-doping organisations.”

Published: Wednesday 20th January 2016 by The News Editor

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