Press releases 2nd January 2019

Sport Ireland Statement on Russia Compliance Deadline

Sixteen National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), including Sport Ireland, have today called on the World Anti-Doping Organisation (WADA) to take a firm stance against Russia, following the passing of the deadline for Russia to provide critical doping data from the Moscow Laboratory. Access to the data by 31 December was one of the conditions laid out by WADA when RUSADA was declared compliant in September 2018.

Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, said: “As has been the case from the outset of this ordeal, there has been a continual shift of the goalposts in relation to the reinstatement of Russia’s compliance. That there has been yet another roadblock put in place by Russia is not a surprise and now it is time for WADA to take strong action, convene a meeting of the Compliance Review Committee without delay and declare them non-compliant until such time as all conditions have been met in full. Anything less than this will have a devastating impact on the anti-doping system. Clean athletes globally need to know they are competing on a fair and level playing field.”

Mr Treacy continued: “Comments made yesterday by the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, which are extremely unhelpful, demonstrate why the IOC are out of touch with athletes. The comments also underline why the IOC should not be involved in the decision making when it comes to matters of anti-doping. It is now up to WADA to act decisively and quickly, otherwise there will be no consequence for a country that has been proven to operate a systematic doping regime.”

Sport Ireland Director of Participation and Ethics, Dr Una May, added: “National Anti-Doping Organisations worldwide are working hard to protect the integrity of sport and the interests of clean athletes. We all need to have trust in the international anti-doping system and it is up to WADA to act as the gatekeeper in that regard. Strong and decisive action is required immediately as trust in the system is quickly deteriorating.”

Full Statement from National Anti-Doping Organisations:

NADO Leaders acknowledge the January 1, 2019 Release from WADA outlining the current status of the management of anti-doping compliance matters in Russia. With a view to its 31 December 2018 deadline for Russia to provide the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) with the critical LIMS data from the Moscow Laboratory, the anti-doping world fully expects a decisive response in support of the clean athletes of the world. After more than three years of review, indecision and compromise in response to the worst doping scandal in the history of sport, the time has come to demonstrate that no individual nor nation is exempt from compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.

On 20 September 2018 the WADA Executive Committee created an opportunity by providing a new opportunity for Russia to demonstrate interest in protecting the rights of clean athletes and a willingness to play by the rules. Russia has failed to meet its obligations. Therefore, we now call on WADA to stand firm, enforce the missed deadline and move without delay towards a decision in this matter. Recognizing WADA had previously scheduled a Compliance Review Committee meeting on January 14-15, 2019, NADO Leaders now call on WADA to acknowledge the gravity of this missed deadline and call for an immediate review and recommendation from the CRC.

We recognise RUSADA has been working with WADA in an effort to resolve these issues, but the conditions agreed on 20 September 2018 were unequivocal and without the data there can be only one outcome. The importance of this situation does not warrant providing a further two weeks for Russia to comply. With the interest of clean sport hanging in the balance, WADA must call for CRC to convene and consider this matter without further delay.

In October 2018 NADO Leaders signalled our steadfast commitment to the global athlete community in support of clean sport. Today, that commitment is stronger than ever, and that is why we believe Russia must be held accountable for its continuing failure to comply. A return to international sport should only be considered for Russia once full confidence in a clean Russian sporting culture is restored – in other words, only once WADA has received and verified the electronic LIMS data as well as access to the samples in the Moscow Laboratory.

NADO Leaders implore WADA to use its full authority and resources to expedite this matter. This Statement is supported by the National Anti-Doping Organisations of: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Sweden, and USA.

• This media release was published by Sport Ireland on 2 January 2019. Click here for the original.

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