WADA clarifies next steps of the RUSADA Compliance Process

On 25 November 2019, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) issued a media release regarding the recommendation of WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) concerning the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA’s) non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code), which will be considered by WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo) when they meet on Monday, 9 December in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The media release outlined the CRC’s:

  • conclusion that this is “an extremely serious case of non-compliance with the requirement to provide an authentic copy of the Moscow data, with several aggravating features”; and
  • recommendation to WADA’s ExCo that WADA send a formal notice to RUSADA, asserting non-compliance with the requirement to provide an authentic copy of the Moscow data, and proposing a series of consequences and conditions of reinstatement.

In advance of the 9 December meeting, WADA wishes to clarify the Next Steps of the RUSADA Compliance Process as set out in the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) as outlined below.

Next Steps of the RUSADA Compliance Process

On 9 December 2019, WADA’s ExCo will meet in Lausanne to discuss the CRC’s recommendation.

If the ExCo endorses the recommendation:

  • In accordance with the ISCCS, formal notice will be sent to RUSADA, alleging non-compliance and proposing the consequences mentioned in WADA’s 25 November media release.
  • RUSADA will have 21 days to accept the notice.
  • If RUSADA disputes WADA’s allegation, the matter will be referred to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) (ISCCS Art. 10.4.1). Under the ISCCS, ”If the Signatory wishes to dispute the asserted non-compliance and/or the proposed Signatory Consequences and/or the proposed Reinstatement conditions, then (in accordance with Article 23.5.6 of the Code) it must notify WADA in writing within twenty-one days of its receipt of the notice from WADA. WADA shall then file a formal notice of dispute with CAS, and the dispute will be resolved by the CAS Ordinary Arbitration Division.”
  • If RUSADA does not dispute WADA’s allegation, WADA will announce RUSADA’s decision on its website and any party that would have had a right under Code Article 23.5.7 to intervene in the CAS proceedings that would have taken place if RUSADA had disputed any aspect of WADA’s notice, has the right to appeal WADA’s decision to the CAS Appeals Arbitration Division within 21 days of the publication of RUSADA’s decision by WADA (ISCCS Art. 10.3.2). If no party appeals during these 21 days, the consequences of non-compliance and the reinstatement conditions proposed by WADA will become a final decision with immediate effect and must be recognized and enforced by all Code Signatories.
  • ‘Any party’ would include:

a)   the International Olympic Committee and/or the International Paralympic Committee (as applicable), and the National Olympic Committee and/or the National Paralympic Committee (as applicable), where the decision may have an effect in relation to the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games (including decisions affecting eligibility to attend/participate in the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games); and

b)   an International Federation, where the decision may have an effect on participation in the International Federation's World Championships/International Events and/or on a bid that has been submitted for a country to host the International Federation's World Championships.

  • Any CAS decision in relation to the non-compliance, the proposed consequences and/or the proposed reinstatement conditions will be binding and must be recognized and enforced by all Signatories. Even if there would be an appeal to the Swiss Federal court, the decision would be enforceable immediately unless the Swiss Federal Court orders otherwise.

If the ExCo does not endorse the CRC's recommendation:

  • The ExCo cannot substitute its own decision but instead must refer the matter back to the CRC so that the CRC may consider the matter further and decide how to proceed (e.g., by making a revised recommendation to the ExCo or by maintaining the current recommendation).
  • If the ExCo does not accept the CRC's second recommendation, it can either refer the matter back to the CRC again or take its own decision on the matter, as it sees fit. Such a decision would then be notified to RUSADA, which would have 21 days to accept or refuse. If it refuses, WADA would open proceedings to CAS on the basis of the recommendation.