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  1. ITV Report

WADA reinstates Russian Anti-Doping Agency

A Russian doping laboratory. Credit: PA

The World Anti-Doping Agency's executive committee has voted to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency nearly three years after it was suspended for its central role in the country's doping scandal.

The decision, which will provoke fury from many athletes and anti-doping experts around the world, was reached at a meeting of WADA's 12-strong ExCo in the Seychelles.

In a statement released on Twitter, WADA president Sir Craig Reedie said: "Today, the great majority of WADA's ExCo decided to reinstate RUSADA as compliant with the code subject to strict conditions, upon recommendation by the agency's independent CRC (Compliance Review Committee) and in accordance with an agreed process.

"This decision provides a clear timeline by which WADA must be given access to the former Moscow laboratory data and samples with a clear commitment by the ExCo that should this timeline not be met, it would support the CRC's recommendation to reinstate non-compliance."

Doping whistleblower Dr Grigor Rodchenkov described the reinstatement as "the greatest treachery against clean athletes in Olympic history".

Jim Walden, the lawyer for Dr Rodchenkov, said: "WADA's decision to reinstate Russia represents 'the greatest treachery against clean athletes in Olympic history. The United States is wasting its money by continuing to fund WADA, which is obviously impotent to address Russia's state-sponsored doping.

"The only way to stem the tide of Russian doping is for Congress to pass the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, which will give the Department of Justice the necessary tools to put those involved in doping fraud behind bars, where they belong."

WADA's decision to reinstate Russia represents 'the greatest treachery against clean athletes in Olympic history. The United States is wasting its money by continuing to fund WADA, which is obviously impotent to address Russia's state-sponsored doping.

'The only way to stem the tide of Russian doping is for Congress to pass the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, which will give the Department of Justice the necessary tools to put those involved in doping fraud behind bars, where they belong.'

WADA's decision to reinstate Russia represents 'the greatest treachery against clean athletes in Olympic history. The United States is wasting its money by continuing to fund WADA, which is obviously impotent to address Russia's state-sponsored doping.

'The only way to stem the tide of Russian doping is for Congress to pass the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, which will give the Department of Justice the necessary tools to put those involved in doping fraud behind bars, where they belong.'

RUSADA and its Moscow laboratory were suspended in November 2015 when a WADA-sponsored investigation into allegations of cheating within Russian athletics first uncovered evidence of a state-run doping conspiracy.

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Further proof of Russia's cheating emerged in 2016, when a second investigation, led by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, broadened the scandal to more than 1,000 athletes in 30 sports.

WADA, however, had already agreed a "roadmap to compliance" for RUSADA with the Russian authorities by this point and steady progress was made on restructuring the disgraced agency and retraining its staff.

But progress on two remaining roadmap criteria - public acceptance of the McLaren report and allowing independent access to the Moscow lab's data and stored samples - ground to a halt, heaping pressure on WADA's leadership to compromise and revise the roadmap.

After months of negotiation, WADA and Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov finally agreed a deal on the two outstanding criteria and that is what the executive committee have approved in the Seychelles.

Russia will agree to admit that certain individuals within the Russian sports ministry, RUSADA and the Moscow lab were to blame, but nobody further up the chain of command, and a mutually-agreed independent expert will be given access to the lab within a fixed period after reinstatement.