A team of compliance experts from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was in Moscow this week to conduct a full audit of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in line with conditions set for RUSADA’s reinstatement as compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code).
The three-person delegation, led by Tom May, WADA’s Deputy Director of NADO/RADO Relations, conducted the two-day audit as required by RUSADA’s Roadmap to Compliance established in January 2017 and WADA’s Executive Committee decision of 20 September 2018.
Having inspected the premises, processes and practices of RUSADA, the team will now compile a full report in line with WADA’s Compliance Monitoring Program, highlighting any issues identified during the audit and prescribing remedial action where appropriate. Since RUSADA was declared non-compliant in 2015, WADA has been working with a number of partners to completely rebuild it in preparation for reinstatement.
WADA Director General Olivier Niggli said: “This audit is another important milestone along the way towards RUSADA being a fully trusted anti-doping partner. A huge amount of good work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure RUSADA has the level of expertise, good practice and independence required.
“Establishing a strong RUSADA is very important for clean sport. The audit team will identify any necessary corrective actions that, once implemented by RUSADA, will lead to an improved anti-doping program.”
In September 2017, WADA carried out a similar audit on RUSADA which helped to further enhance its anti-doping program.
This week’s audit is separate to the five-person technical team that is expected to travel to Russia before the end of 2018 to access the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) and the underlying data of the former Moscow Laboratory. The Moscow Laboratory’s accreditation was suspended in November 2015 following a key recommendation in WADA’s Pound Commission Report. Its accreditation was revoked in April 2016 and it was subsequently sealed off by Russian law enforcement authorities due to a federal investigation.
Under the terms of the 20 September 2018 decision to reinstate RUSADA as compliant, failure to secure access to the authentic data by 31 December 2018 would result in non-compliance once again, this time under the stronger terms of the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) that took effect on 1 April 2018.
Audits are an important element of WADA’s Compliance Monitoring Program, with 26 National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) and International Federations (IFs) having been visited in the past two years, and four more scheduled to take place before March 2019. Outside of audits like RUSADA’s, which is part of a reinstatement process, the selection of audited organizations is conducted by WADA’s internal Compliance Task Force and approved by the independent Compliance Review Committee based on a number of criteria included in the ISCCS. The audits are performed by trained individuals from WADA as well as external anti-doping experts.