From Inside the Games

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie has admitted he was blindsided by the release of an International Olympic Committee (IOC) letter which revealed his organisation had warned there may not be sufficient evidence in the McLaren Report to bring sanctions against Russian athletes.

Sir Craig, who says he has since been “assured” by the IOC that it will not happen again, described the letter as “counter-productive”.

The Scot also offered a staunch defence of the findings in the document from the Canadian lawyer, published in December.

An open letter was made public on Friday (February 24) where IOC director general Christophe de Kepper claimed that WADA admitted that the evidence in “many cases” against Russian athletes may not be strong enough to impose sanctions.

A meeting took place between the Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) and WADA last week to discuss the McLaren Report.

It was at this meeting that De Kepper said WADA made the admission, which the organisation then confirmed.

Sir Craig, who was re-elected WADA President at the Foundation Board meeting in Glasgow in November, was left frustrated by the letter being published but insisted the issue was now in the past.

“I didn’t know they were going to publish the letter and I have been assured that this blindside will not recur,” he told insidethegames.

“The letter was simply counter-productive as WADA has been working long and hard with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to rebuild the anti-doping system in Russia.

“It distracted from the fact that McLaren exposed institutionalised doping involving the lab director of RUSADA, the FSB, Government officials and athletes.

“We simply have to live with it.

“You can see the interpretation of it with the almost immediate rush of comment from within Russia effectively supporting the emphasis the IOC took in their letter.”

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