From Inside the Games

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie has urged Russian authorities to adopt “wise counsel” and make the relatively straightforward changes necessary to allow the country to be declared re-compliant with their rules.

He also made clear how new compliance rules coming into operation on April 1 will have no impact on the ongoing Russian situation in a legal sense because it only applies for future cases rather than pre-existing ones.

This means all sporting bodies are legally free to continue awarding events to Russia, although the World Anti-Doping Code still urges them against doing so as far as World Championships are concerned.

It came after an opening day of the WADA Symposium here in which officials have insisted over and over again how they will not budge on ensuring Russia fulfill the two remaining criteria necessary for Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) re-compliance.

These concern an acceptance of the McLaren Report conclusion that an “institutional doping” regime was operated at events including the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics as well as the opening-up of the Moscow Laboratory for the analysis of samples and electronic data.

Sir Craig adopted more conciliatory language than some in suggesting that no major concessions would be required on the part of Russian authorities.

“Semantics and words matter in this issue [McLaren Report acceptance],” he told insidethegames.

“We have had, I would have thought, off the top of my head, seven or eight different drafts which have changed over the years from Russian authorities.

“That is now in the hands of the Russian authorities and I look forward to their reaction.

“I think the big difference now is that we are post-Pyeongchang.

“The Russian Olympic Committee has been sanctioned [by the International Olympic Committee in a suspension lifted three days after the Closing Ceremony].

“People may like the sanction or not like the sanction but the hard facts of the matter are the IOC did sanction the only organisation they could sanction which is the National Olympic Committee in Russia.

“Much work was done on pre-Games tests so a very large number of [neutral] Olympic Athletes from Russia took part in the Games.

“We’ve gone through a whole series of CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) appeals one way or another.

“I think it is now the time that, perhaps, wise counsel will now bring about a successful resolution of this particular issue.”

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