From Inside the Games

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is set to be reinstated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee at its meeting next week after the organisation met the two outstanding compliance criteria, it was announced today.

In a statement, WADA said the Compliance Review Committee (CRC) had recommended RUSADA be declared compliant when the Executive Committee meets in the Seychelles on Thursday (September 20).

A letter sent from the Russian Ministry of Sport to WADA fulfilled the first requirement – altered slightly from a public acceptance of the McLaren Report and its findings to an acceptance of the Schmid Commission report – as it “sufficiently acknowledged the issues identified in Russia”.

The letter differs from a similar document sent on the eve of the last gathering of the Executive Committee in Montreal in May but its contents have not been revealed.

According to WADA, a “commitment” from Russia to provide data and access to the samples stored at the Moscow Laboratory via an independent expert was sufficient to meet the last remaining criteria “provided that the Executive Committee imposes a clear timeline for such process”.

The announcement confirms that WADA has slightly softened the roadmap following suggestions the organisation made to Russia in a bid to end the protracted stalemate.

It marks a considerable u-turn from the previous recommendation from the CRC, published by BBC Sport yesterday, as the panel initially said RUSADA had not met the outstanding criteria.

The CRC has the ability to change its recommendation when new evidence or documentation emerges, however.

Should the Executive Committee follow the recommendation of the CRC, as they have done previously, it will end RUSADA’s near three-year period in exile after the body was declared non-compliant in November 2015 following the revelations concerning state-sponsored doping in athletics.

It could also prompt Russia to be welcomed back by the International Association of Athletics Federations and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as RUSADA compliance is key to their respective reinstatement criteria.

In a statement, IPC President Andrew Parsons – who called for a resolution to the impasse between RUSADA and WADA earlier this week – hailed the “tremendous progress” made and described the announcement as a “real breakthrough”.

“The IPC will now await the final decision of the WADA Executive Committee on this matter before taking the next steps in relation to the suspension of the Russian Paralympic Committee,” the Brazilian added.

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