Russia’s chances of competing in the 2018 Paralympic Games have been boosted after the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) announced progress had been made by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).
WADA announced on Wednesday that they will allow RUSADA to conduct drug testing again, authorizing their Doping Control Officers to conduct those tests. These will be the first tests done by RUSADA since 2015, these tests will be done under the supervision of the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD).
A number of WADA’s initial requirements for RUSADA’s reinstatement have been met with a change to the board the most notable. There will be a conflict of interest policy, the athlete biological passport blood samples will be released on demand and Doping Control Officers will be allowed to access previously ‘closed cities’.
“While there is still more to be done, WADA recognises this milestone as a key component of the Roadmap towards compliance,” said Sir Craig Reedie, WADA President. “After much work by the Agency and its partners, resumption of testing represents an important step forward in rebuilding anti-doping in Russia.”
Russia still faces suspension from the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and these events have not changed that fact. That said the reformation of RUSADA is a significant step in the process of Russia meeting the requirements for reinstatement.
Despite the positive step Russia remains also excluded from WADA as they are not in compliance with the organization’s code. Should things go well with the return of RUSADA they will have a chance to get reinstated to WADA at the next assessment, due to take place in September of this year. From there, reinstatement in WADA would boost their chances of reinstatement in to the IPC, but not guarantee readmittance.