15 February 2021

RUSADA Supervisory Board approves leadership choices

The Supervisory Board of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has appointed lawyer Tamara Shashikhina (Тамара Шашихина) as its Chair, and Vladimir Chekhonin (Владимир Чехонин) of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences as its Vice Chair. Shashikhina is a Director of the European Studies Institute of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), which is run by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She was appointed to RUSADA’s Supervisory Board in December. MGIMO counts Alisher Usmanov (Алише́р Усма́нов) and Vladimir Potanin (Владимир Потанин) amongst its trustees.

Lawyer Mikhail Bukhanov is RUSADA’s Acting Director General…

The meeting also decided to seek the approval of RUSADA’s Members to extend Mikhail Bukhanov’s (Михаил Буханов) term as Acting CEO of RUSADA for six months. A meeting considering this suggestion will be held by 28 February. Bukanov was appointed by the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committee (ROC & RPC) in August last year.

As previously reported, the Russian Lawyers Association (юристов Ассоциация России) and the International Centre for Health Protection (Международный центр охраны здоровья) have replaced the ROC and RPC as RUSADA’s two governing bodies. The Lawyers Association operates a Sports Law Commission with over 70 members. Alexander Popov (Александр Попов), a member of the ROC’s Executive Committee, is listed as a member, as is Pavel Kolobkov (Павел Колобков), Russia’s former Minister of Sport. Bukhanov began working for RUSADA in February 2019, and is not a member of the Sports Law Commission. 

Article 20.5.1 of the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code requires national anti-doping organisations (NADOs) to be ‘independent in their operational decisions and activities from sport and government’. When it reinstated RUSADA at its September 2018 Executive Committee meeting, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) outlined that RUSADA must continue to demonstrate that ‘it operates in an environment that is free from undue external influence’. 

In addition, when announcing its four year sanction against RUSADA for failing to procure the authentic Moscow Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS), one of WADA’s conditions was that it must remain ‘satisfied throughout the Four-Year Period that RUSADA’s independence is being respected and there is no improper outside interference with its operations’. Although a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Panel reduced RUSADA’s sanction to two years, its Decision requires its Director General (Bukhanov) to provide quarterly reports to WADA confirming that RUSADA’s independence has been respected. 

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