7 March 2016 – WADA has viewed, and is dismayed by, the revelations in yesterday’s television documentary released by German broadcaster ARD. The new documentary, titled ‘Russia’s Red Herrings’, contains new allegations suggesting malpractice by a number of individuals involved in the Russian anti-doping system.
The documentary alleges that an individual from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) gave advance warning to athletes of testing plans; that an individual connected with the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) was providing banned substances to athletes; and, that a coach that was sanctioned following the WADA Independent Commission Report (Part 1) is still operating as a coach in Russia despite the ban. WADA will verify these allegations and; in particular, seek confirmation as to when the evidence was collected.
“At a time when trust in sport is wafer thin, these troubling assertions will do little to reinforce confidence in the Russian anti-doping system when clean athletes need it most,” said WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie. “The allegations suggest that there is still much, much work to be done in Russia; and, that we will need the full and unwavering cooperation of the Russian authorities to reverse the damage,” he continued. “Until this happens, clean athletes won’t be able to trust that there is a level playing field.”
“These allegations are already in the hands of the IAAF Taskforce, which is the relevant athletics body; as well as, the authorities within Russia. I have no doubt that they will look at these matters without delay and draw the appropriate conclusions,” he added.
“When sports officials offer banned substances to athletes, deliberately provide advance notice of tests, or continue coaching when they have been banned from coaching, their actions only serve to undercut the globally-accepted system that we have spent years putting in place. These allegations will further disgust clean athletes around the world; and, reinforce in their minds that there is still much work to be done to repair the anti-doping system in Russia,” added Reedie.
WADA is already working directly with RUSADA to assist the agency in its efforts to regain World Anti-Doping Code (Code) compliance. Now that testing is being overseen by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), the next important step is to install two international experts in Russia to ensure that the anti-doping system is free of undue interference and is fully independent. This will include the review of all current staff. In light of these latest allegations, which will be considered in full by WADA, it is imperative that the two experts begin their work at RUSADA immediately.
“I will not hesitate to act swiftly to ensure that any breaches to the Code are dealt with firmly and expeditiously. Strong and decisive action by all sporting authorities is imperative if clean athletes, and indeed the public at large, are to retain belief in the integrity of sport.”