Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) have said that an audit has uncovered financial irregularities at the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). ‘Contrary to the claims of the Director General of RUSADA at his press conference on 10 July 2020, the in-depth audit revealed a number of significant irregularities in the financial and economic activities of RUSADA’, read a statement.
The results of the 55 page audit will be discussed at a meeting of RUSADA’s seven person Supervisory Board, which will decide what action to take. RUSADA’s Founders – the ROC and RPC – have confirmed that if serious financial irregularities are uncovered, Yuri Ganus’ (Ю́рий Га́нус) position as Director General of RUSADA could be under threat.
The audit (PDF below) was commissioned after the Supervisory Board was unhappy with a firm appointed by Yuriy Ganus, who last week denied allegations of financial impropriety. The ROC and RPC statement alleges that Ganus violated Article 6.2.11 of RUSADA’s Charter by ‘backdating’ a submission from a firm which had audited RUSADA’s 2018 financial statements on 30 April 2019. ‘It should be noted that the audit organisation initially selected by the Director General of RUSADA is not even included in the rankings of the top 100 auditing organisations in Russia’, reads the statement.
The RUSADA Supervisory Board said that it had ‘reasonable doubts’ about the ‘completeness and reliability’ of the audit submitted by Ganus, and refused to approve it. After proposals were sent to major firms, FinExpertiza was selected on 19 February this year, and completed the above audit in March/April. The Sports Integrity Initiative has asked the company to send a text version of the above audit, so that it can be translated.
Ganus has repeated his claims, made during his press conference last week, that the allegations are an attempt to discredit him. “If the founders were transparent in their intentions, then they would have asked us additional questions so that we would have the opportunity to comment”, he told Sports.ru. “I was at the press conference. It started with the fact that we allegedly tried to cheat on the approval of the auditor. But the auditing company was involved with RUSADA before I joined the organisation.
“I understand the intentions of the founders [ROC & RPC]. They do not like RUSADA and, specifically, the RUSADA leadership.”
Ganus and his deputy, Margarita Pakhnotskaya (Маргарита Пахноцкая), are not members of RUSADA’s seven person Supervisory Board. The Chairman of the Supervisory Board is Alexander Ivlev, a member of the Public Council of Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development. Vice Chairman is Vladimir Chekhonin, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Also featuring is Andrey Minyaev, Legal Director at Russia’s Ministry of Sports; and Andrey Strokin, Secretary General of the RPC.
In December last year, Ganus complained that he was required to inform the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) about the decision of the Supervisory Board to appeal WADA’s decision to declare RUSADA non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code, despite not being in a position to influence that decision. He suggested that such governance structures contradicted WADA’s insistence that RUSADA must demonstrate its independence for the entire four year period of its suspension.
Although the RPC insists that it is happy with Ganus’ performance, it confirmed that his position is under threat. “Yuri Ganus does a good job”, Pavel Rozhkov (Павел Рожков), Vice President of the RPC, told Sport Express. “Conducting an audit is a common practice for large companies and we, as founders, must control this process. In 2018 an audit took place but, apparently, an affiliate company conducted it. This did not suit us, and a retest was ordered. All documentation concerning the result of the audit were transferred to the Supervisory Board, which will decide what to do next.
“If they consider that the violations are serious, then this poses questions. If not, then they will be able to make corrections. In this case, Yuriy Ganus will be able to maintain his position within the organisation.”
The ROC and RPC’s statement outlines that the RUSADA Founders ‘fully trust the level of competence and professionalism of the members of the Supervisory Board and its Chairman, A.V. Ivlev’. It outlines that the Founders expect a recommendation from the Supervisory Board following a meeting to discuss the results of the audit.