16 July 2020

RUSADA questions motives behind ROC & RPC audit

Yuriy Ganus, DG of RUSADA.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has questioned the motives behind the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Russian Paralympic Committee’s (RPC) decision to publish a 55 page audit marked as strictly confidential. The ROC and RPC published the audit, alleging financial irregularities at RUSADA, after Yuri Ganus (Ю́рий Га́нус), RUSADA’s Director General, denied allegations of financial impropriety.

‘There are questions about attempts by the auditor to come to conclusions on the organisation of functional tasks that are exclusively characteristic of national anti-doping agencies that carry out work in accordance with international anti-doping standards’, read a RUSADA statement. ‘We do not have any information that FinExpertiza LLC complies with the requirements of WADA [World Anti-Doping Agency] and can therefore be considered an accredited organisation by WADA in this area. 

‘The findings of the auditor in the report clearly indicate that they do not understand how the activities of a national anti-doping agency are organised and, therefore, its findings cannot be considered reliable and cannot reflect the objective state of affairs within RUSADA. In addition, such considerations indicate an attempt to intervene in the professional activities of an independent national agency by an entity that doesn’t have the right to do so granted by the international regulator.’

WADA’s CRC requires RUSADA to remain independent throughout the 4yrs of its suspension…

Ganus has already warned that one of the requirements for RUSADA to be declared compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code is that it must demonstrate that it is independent and free from external interference in its operations. WADA suspended RUSADA’s compliance with the Code for a four year period in December last year, after discovering manipulations of the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) retrieved from the Moscow Laboratory in January 2019. 

RUSADA’s Supervisory Board appealed, as the majority of manipulations discovered by WADA appeared to have been conducted by agents of the Russian State. Ganus is not a member of the Supervisory Board, and has previously been critical of RUSADA’s governance structure, which allows Russian State and Olympic officials a certain amount of control over RUSADA. For example, the Supervisory Board must approve any RUSADA financial transaction involving amounts greater than €250,000.

RUSADA’s statement also denied the assertion made by the ROC and RPC that Ganus had ‘backdated’ a submission from a firm which had audited RUSADA’s 2018 financial statements on 30 April 2019, in violation of Article 6.2.11 of RUSADA’s Charter. RUSADA countered that the ROC and RPC violated Article 6.2.11 of the Charter by not convening a meeting to consider the audited accounts, forcing RUSADA to take action.

‘The Director General of the Agency cannot, in accordance with the Charter, choose an audit company’, reads the statement. ‘It is the duty of the general meeting of members in accordance with Article 6.2.11 of the Charter. According to Article 6.6 of the Charter, the general meeting of the members should be held no later than four months after the end of the financial year to approve the Annual Report and accounts.

‘The general meeting of members did not conduct the correct approval process for the auditor in accordance with the Charter, since representatives of the ROC and RPC did not initiate this meeting. RUSADA initiated the holding of the first general meeting of members on 30 April 2019, at which an audit report was prepared, as in 2017 and 2018, by AuditAll LLC, which had previously been approved by the Supervisory Board of RUSADA.

‘According to the minutes of the meeting dated 30 April 2019, it was decided to choose a new auditor and conduct a second audit. According to the decision of the general meeting of members, it was funded by the ROC.’

Article 6.2.11 of the RUSADA Charter mandates: ‘The auditing organisation checks the Agency’s financial and economic activities in accordance with the requirements of the current legislation of the Russian Federation on the basis of the contract concluded between the Agency and the audit organisation. The general meeting of members considers the conclusion, issued by the audit organisation, at the next general meeting of members after the audit.’ Article 6.6 mandates that the general meeting of members should not be held later than four months after the end of the fiscal year. 

RUSADA also questioned the ROC and RPC’s decision to publish the report, despite it mandating confidentiality. ‘This Report is strictly confidential’, it reads. ‘This Report is not subject to distribution, citation, publication (in whole or in part), disclosure, or further transfer to third parties for any other purpose than that which was intended’.

RUSADA’s statement also argued that a focus within the audit on ‘sales of products’, ‘acquisition of goods, works and services’, and ‘renumeration of employees’ suggested that ‘the auditor approached the audit either superficially or tendentiously’. RUSADA added that it would review the audit’s findings, and will submit a report in response to the Supervisory Board. 

The Sports Integrity Initiative has asked FinExpertiza to send a text version of its audit (the version published by the ROC and RPC was in image format) so that it can be translated. FinExpertiza has yet to reply.

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