Doping: World not convinced Russia's doping culture has ended, says Wada

Doping: World not convinced Russias doping culture has ended, says Wada
Craig Reedie, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA

Glasgow - Fresh evidence of state-backed doping cover-ups was revealed by investigators


Published: Mon 21 Nov 2016, 6:44 PM

Last updated: Mon 21 Nov 2016, 8:46 PM

Russian sport is a long way from convincing the world that it has cleaned up its act, the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) declared Sunday, pointing to the state's failure to accept it was behind a doping program, its continued obstruction of testing, and a series of cyberattacks.
"It would be better if they were maybe a little bit more contrite," WADA President Craig Reedie told The Associated Press after being re-elected unopposed for a second term. Russia is seeking readmission to WADA a year after being declared non-compliant with the doping code, following the publication of a report detailing widespread cheating in track and field.
Fresh evidence of state-backed doping cover-ups was revealed by investigators ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Games, although WADA's recommendation of a blanket ban on Russia's Olympic team was rejected by the IOC.
Russia's integrity is set to be challenged again when Canadian law professor Richard McLaren's final doping report is published on December 9, with the focus on winter sports.
Reedie said Russia still has to get "the rest of the world to believe that they have reformed and this (doping) won't happen again. So there is much work to be done."
At Sunday's Foundation Board meeting, WADA officials outlined how Russia continues to frustrate anti-doping officials by denying access to so-called closed cities where athletes are training and also to a sealed-off laboratory in Moscow that contains samples sought by sporting federations. The public criticism was delivered in front of Russian President Vladimir Putin's anti-doping troubleshooter, Vitaly Smirnov, the former Soviet sports minister now heading Russia's state-backed anti-doping commission.
"Russia has never had a state-sponsored system of doping," Smirnov responded defiantly.
Vitaly Mutko, who was recently promoted from sports minister to deputy prime minister, was banned from attending the Rio Olympics after being accused by McLaren of ordering the cover-up of a failed drug test by a foreign soccer player. A WADA presentation on Sunday flagged up claims by Mutko that McLaren's report was "falsified" and threats to prosecute those assisting the investigators.
One of Mutko's deputies at the sports ministry, Yuri Nagornykh, was ousted on Putin's orders after McLaren said he helped to orchestrate cover-ups of hundreds of drug tests. But Smirnov said Nagornykh was not a member of the government because "he was deputy minister," maintaining that "only ministers are members of the government."
Wada will remain under the leadership of the 75-year-old Reedie for the next three years., despite elements of the Olympic world appearing uneasy with the agency's attacks on Russia. Association of National Olympic Committees President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah had wanted a "neutral chair" to take over from Reedie, who was supported by the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC congratulated Reedie on Sunday and said it "welcomed his commitment ... to work towards the appointment of a neutral WADA President."
Reedie responded: "I have always been (neutral). I will continue to be, and behave, as independently as I can."

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