Russian anti-doping agency remains non-compliant with WADA code

Russia's anti-doping body remains non-compliant with the international code, putting more pressure on the International Olympic Committee to ban the country from next year's Winter Games in PyeongChang.

The foundation board of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has approved the recommendation by the independent compliance review committee to leave RUSADA's non-compliant status unchanged, with the news confirmed in a tweet from WADA.

Attention now turns to whether the IOC decides to bar Russia from the PyeongChang Games when it holds its executive board meeting on December 5.

It is understood Russia refused to admit it ran a state-sponsored doping programme or to allow access to samples stored in the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the two main items on WADA's 'roadmap to compliance' for RUSADA.

The Russian drug-testing body was suspended in November 2015 following an investigation into allegations of cheating in Russian athletics.

Russia avoided a blanket ban from last year's Rio Games. However, the completion of a second investigation into Russian doping in December, by Canadian professor Richard McLaren, found evidence of a conspiracy that involved 1,000 athletes in 30 sports and culminated at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

The IOC has set up two commissions to assess McLaren's evidence - one focused on individual athletes, the other to look at the state's role.

The latter, led by former Swiss president Samuel Schmid, is the most important for any collective sanction Russia may face and its findings will strongly influence the decision taken by IOC president Thomas Bach and his board next month.

As well as making the ruling on RUSADA, WADA has also passed evidence to the Schmid commission.

This evidence, which WADA obtained at the end of October, is an electronic record of every test conducted by the Moscow lab between 2012 and 2015.

During that period, its director Dr Grigory Rodchenkov claims he was asking the Russian sports ministry if a positive test should be processed as such or covered up.

This summer, WADA agreed the Russian agency had fulfilled the 19 obligations in the first half of a two-stage process to be declared compliant. Progress was achieved on items such as training new staff under UK Anti-Doping's supervision, setting up a new supervisory board and opening up access to Russia's ''closed'' industrial and military cities for foreign drug-testers.

Full compliance, however, would not be declared until 12 more criteria in part two of the road map are met. That includes public acceptance of the ''reported outcomes of the McLaren investigation'' by RUSADA, the ministry of sport and national Olympic committee, and ''access for appropriate entities to the stored urine samples'' at the Moscow lab.

Those samples have been guarded by the Russian authorities ever since Rodchenkov fled Russia for the United States, where he remains in witness protection, and the lab and RUSADA were suspended by WADA in November 2015.

Thursday's decision to declare RUSADA still non-compliant puts pressure on IOC president Thomas Bach, particularly after Russian president Vladimir Putin recently described calls for an Olympic ban as a western conspiracy designed to destabilise the country before March's national election


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