Russian chaos: RUSADA Director-General fired, deputy resigns, iNADO and WADA express concern

"It is fundamentally important for us that financial activities are carried out transparently and in accordance with all the rules of law and provisions enshrined in the organisation's charter."

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The Russian Anti-Doping Agency Director-General Yuri Ganus was fired when the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) made the recommendation earlier this week.

RUSADA voted on Ganus’ future in the position during a virtual meeting Friday.

The RUSADA Supervisory Board had earlier this month recommended the dismissal of Ganus, after an audit allegedly revealed a “number of significant irregularities in the financial and economic activities” of the organisation.

ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov previously had recommended that the organisation would approve his dismissal. 

RUSADA lawyer Mikhail Bukhanov will act as the interim director-general. The organisation expected to name a permanent director-general in 2020.

“Having carefully considered all the arguments of colleagues, the general meeting of the founders of RUSADA decided to accept the recommendations and remove Ganus from office,” Pozdnyakov told TASS, the Russian news agency.

Citing concern over financial irregularities he added, “It is fundamentally important for us that financial activities are carried out transparently and in accordance with all the rules of law and provisions enshrined in the organisation’s charter.”

Pozdnyakov reportedly said law enforcement is expected to be contacted regarding the alleged violations made by Ganus.

RUSADA deputy director general Margarita Pakhnotskaya has confirmed she resigned from her position yesterday.

“I do not like this situation, yes, I left of my own free will, I see no reason to continue,” Pakhnotskaya told TASS.

Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations expresses concern

The Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) is expressed concern that both ROC and RPC have over the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), after their move to fire Director-General Yuri Ganus earlier this week.

iNADO stated that the dismissal of Ganus is concerning.

“The clean sport movement’s effectiveness rests on anti-doping organisations’ ability to maintain full independence, with no interference from sport,” a statement from iNADO chief executive Jorge Leyva read.

World Anti-Doping Agency concerned

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) wants RUSADA to remain independent.

“With RUSADA’s non-compliance case pending before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, WADA will continue to monitor RUSADA’s developments closely,” the statement says.

“It is a critical element of the World Anti-Doping Code that National Anti-Doping Organizations, such as RUSADA, remain safe from interference in their operational decisions and activities in order to conduct their work independently and effectively.”

RUSADA’s deputy director-general resigns

Tass reported that on Friday Deputy Director-Genreal Margarita Pakhnotskaya informed them that she resigned from the RUSADA.

“Yesterday I left the post of the deputy director general [of RUSADA],” Pakhnotskaya, who served as the deputy director general of the country’s main anti-doping body since 2017, said. “I do not like the current situation and, yes, I have resigned voluntarily as I see no sense in continuing. The commentaries will be given next week.”

This all started in July when Pozdnyakov announced that an audit of financial and operational activities revealed a number of major violations regarding the agency’s work.

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