TORONTO (Reuters) – Savaged by anti-doping hardliners for their leniency in handling the Russian doping affair, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) gave itself a pat on the back on Tuesday saying its patient diplomatic approach has moved the scandal closer to an end.
After provisionally reinstating the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in a controversial vote in September, WADA came under attack but has argued that the decision opened the door to the Moscow laboratory and provided access to secret data that might have otherwise remained close.
WADA - Criticism - Athletes - Groups - Bodies
It left WADA exposed to scathing criticism from athletes groups and anti-doping bodies who felt the agency had sold out the clean athletes it was supposed to protect by welcoming Russia back before meeting all its obligations as laid out in the Road Map to Compliance.
“If we hadn’t taken this decision in September we would be exactly where we were the day before the decision in September,” WADA director general Olivier Niggli told Reuters. “Nothing would have moved, there would be no progress.
Data - Way - Cheat - Cheats
“Getting this data is the only way to once and for all find out who was a cheat, going after them and making sure that those who have not been cheats are cleared.”
After missing a Dec. 31 deadline, Russian authorities, following tense negotiations, finally allowed a WADA inspection team access the Moscow lab on Jan. 3 to extract the data.
WADA - Tuesday - Suspension - RUSADA - Moscow
WADA said on Tuesday it had decided not to re-impose a suspension on RUSADA despite Moscow missing the deadline.
WADA will now examine the data for any sign of tampering, while the Russian authorities must ensure any re-analysis of samples required by WADA is completed in an accredited laboratory by June 30.
Analysis - Drug - Cheats - Niggli
The analysis will be used to prosecute drug cheats, some of whom are currently competing said Niggli, adding that that alone should be enough to...
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