25th January 2017

WADA’s international experts attend Russian seminar on combatting doping

International experts appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have attended a workshop organised by the Russian Ministry of Sport to instruct the 46 regions of Russia and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on what measures need to be taken to prevent doping in sport. Australian criminal investigations expert Peter Nicholson and Ieva Lukosiute-Stanikuniene, Director of the Lithuanian anti-doping agency and Chair of the Council of Europe Advisory Group on Education, were appointed by WADA In April last year to help rebuild confidence in the Russian anti-doping system.

Nicholson said that he considers that joint action is needed at the political level; the legislative level; regulatory level, scientific level; technological level and the cultural level – in that individuals need to recognise that there is a doping problem in Russia. Lukosiute-Stanikuniene conducted an interactive session on key aspects of the Council of Europe’s Anti-Doping Convention.

Russian Minister for Sport Pavel Kolobkov emphasised that the Ministry of Sport had withdrawn from RUSADA, which was now a completely independent organisation. He also said that the work of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory – which WADA investigations have shown to be corrupt – has been transferred to Moscow State University.

“Our country supports the activities of international organisations in the field of anti-doping services – including WADA – and declares its commitment to the values of clean sport and the need to fight doping at both the national and international level”, said Sergey Evseev (Сергей Евсеев), Director of Science and Education at the Ministry of Sport. Liene Kozlovska, a member of the Council of Europe and former head of the Latvian anti-doping agency (VSMC) also attended the workshop, which concluded yesterday.

However, the idea that Russia is ready to accept the two Independent Commission (IC) and two Independent Person (IP) Reports produced for WADA as evidence of State-sponsored systemic doping was undermined by Yelena Isinbayeva, who was appointed as one of ten members of a RUSADA Supervisory Board in December. The two-time Olympic pole vault champion was critical of a recent ARD documentary in which an athlete filmed evidence that banned coaches are still training athletes in Russia.

‘Why don’t the informants contact investigating authorities instead of filming material on a hidden camera and then selling it?’ she wrote in a Facebook post. ‘Why don’t they go to the Ministry of Sports or anti-doping agency to declare the violations? Why are ALL athletes accused again with no evidence?

‘All around the world the facts of anti-doping violations by certain athletes and their staff are considered as their own personal responsibility. In my opinion, in order to declare “State support of doping”, it is necessary to define what the word “State” means: is it the President and his subordinates or is it any citizen of the Russian Federation?!

‘I AM, BY ALL MEANS, AGAINST DOPING, against those people who violate anti-doping rules, but also I am against those, who with no evidence and reasons it brings together the guilty and the innocent athletes making him/herself a fighter for justice and blaming everybody around, question the existence of clean sports and clean athletes in Russia. And what is typical is that our country and our clean athletes are denigrated exactly by those sportsmen who failed in sports.

‘I declare that clean sport was, is and will be in Russia, and my career is its confirmation. We with my coach had never thought of violations, unlike many western athletes we had never turned to therapeutic exceptions, as even this was considered to be dishonest to our rivals. For us, our health and our reputation are more important than “dirty medals”. In our country, there is a huge number of honest professional athletes who will tell about their cleanness themselves. Unfortunately, those sportsmen who have no relation to doping, are suffering because of people who failed in sports, violated anti-doping rules and wanted to earn money in such way.’

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