The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) fully supports the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Council decision taken today, at its meeting in Vienna, to maintain the suspension of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF). The suspension was first imposed by the IAAF on 13 November 2015 further to the findings of WADA’s Independent Commission into widespread doping in Russian Athletics.
The IAAF Council unanimously endorsed the IAAF Task Force recommendation that they uphold ARAF’s suspension until further notice. The recommendation was the result of ARAF’s failure to satisfy the reinstatement criteria that had been established by the Task Force; which was in part due to a continued “deep-seated culture of tolerance (or worse) for doping; and the inability to create a strong and effective anti-doping infrastructure capable of detecting and deterring doping”. WADA acknowledges that the suspension means that under IAAF Rules, Russian track and field athletes are ineligible to compete in international competitions, including the European Championships and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“WADA fully supports the IAAF Council’s decision to uphold its Task Force’s recommendation to maintain Russian suspension,” said Sir Craig Reedie, President of WADA. “The Agency applauds the outcome and the process that the IAAF Council followed by appointing an independent Task Force to evaluate ARAF’s compliance,” he said.
Reedie continued, “WADA is now anticipating the outcomes of its own independent McLaren Investigation that was formed on 18 May, which is examining further allegations of doping in Russia. On 15 June, WADA also issued an updated report concerning Russian testing during their period of non-compliance, which outlined very serious limitations to Russia’s program. In view of today’s decision by the IAAF; the allegations that Professor McLaren’s team is currently investigating, including their preliminary findings revealing that there is sufficient corroborated evidence to confirm manipulation of athlete doping samples; and, the present status of Russian testing; it is clear that there is a serious need for culture change in Russia within government and among sports leaders, athletes and athlete support personnel,” Reedie continued.
Today, Professor McLaren issued a statement concerning ‘preliminary findings’, which were shared with the IAAF Task Force, to the effect that there is: “sufficient corroborated evidence to confirm…a mandatory state-directed manipulation of laboratory analytical results operating within the Moscow-accredited laboratory from at least 2011 forward including the period of the IAAF World Championships in 2013”.
The full McLaren Investigation Report is to be delivered to the WADA President by 15 July and published in full within five days of receipt. The President can extend the mandate if he deems it necessary or appropriate.
WADA wholeheartedly supports the IAAF’s recommendation to allow any individual athlete, ‘who has made an extraordinary contribution to the fight against doping in sport’ to apply for such permission. The IAAF particularly noted Yuliya Stepanova, who was instrumental in exposing the widespread doping in Russian athletics that launched WADA’s Independent Commission. WADA reiterates its full support for Ms. Stepanova’s return to international competition.
WADA has no further comment at this time.