Critics of WADA decision to reinstate Russia are about politics not clean sport, claims Sir Craig Reedie

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Sir Craig Reedie, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has been criticised in the past for making comments around anti-doping. This time, he said that opponents of Russia being reinstated are taking that stance because of politics, not clean sport.

It could easily be assumed that he wants Russia reinstated because their inclusion represents millions of dollars as their portion of the WADA fund, which is matched by the International Olympic Committee.

Critics of reinstating Russia into the sport of athletics want an even playing field. Although drug cheats come from every country, doping is practiced privately under one’s own decision to do so – it is a case of free will. Not in Russia.

Russia has yet to demonstrate that they have had a culture shift.

From Inside the Games

World Anti-Doping Agency President Sir Craig Reedie strongly defended how the organisation had handled the crisis in Russia and accused some of his opponents of being motivated more by politics than finding a solution.

Several National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), most notably in the United States, criticised the decision by WADA in January to declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency compliant again even after it missed a deadline to hand over crucial data from its Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS).

Sir Craig, talking at LawAccord, an event being held as part of SportAccord Summit, which opened here today, claimed most countries backed WADA’s decision to reinstate Russia but a small group wanted them banned for as long as possible.

“Most of them clearly begin to understand that it doesn’t make much sense for them to complain about what we have done because the alternative to some NADOs seemed to be to keep Russia non-compliant forever,” he said.

“The alternative is rebuild and produce a robust [anti-doping] organisation in Russia.

“Failure to do that, in my view, runs the risk of them going back to the bad old days and starting to do what they did before.

“That doesn’t seem to do anything for clean sport and doesn’t protect athletes.

“A number of NADOs were thinking entirely on a political basis and not a practical basis.

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