(ATR) The World Anti-Doping Agency says the dismissal of Yuri Ganus as the director general of the Russia Anti-Doping Agency and the resignations of two other RUSADA members “reinforce the concerns” it has about RUSADA’s “operational independence”.
Yuri Ganus (RUSADA)
The RUSADA Foundation Board voted on Friday to oust Ganus following an audit ordered by RUSADA's founders, the Russian Olympic Committee and the Russian Paralympic Committee, that uncovered serious financial and economic violations at RUSADA in 2018 and 2019.
Ganus, who has led RUSADA since August 2017, denies the allegations and says they are part of a campaign to discredit him.
RUSADA’s deputy director general Margarita Pakhnotskaya and the independent international expert member of RUSADA’s Supervisory Board Sergey Khrychikov have resigned. Pakhnotskaya quit on Thursday, telling TASS
"I do not like the current situation and, yes, I have resigned voluntarily as I see no sense in continuing.”
Mikhail Bukhanov, a lawyer with RUSADA, will replace Ganus as acting director general until a new election can be arranged.
WADA said in a statement that it is in contact with RUSADA and other relevant Russian authorities to get further clarifications on the latest developments.
WADA in December made it a condition of RUSADA’s reinstatement that it remains satisfied that RUSADA’s independence is being respected and there is no improper outside interference with its operations.
Russia has gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the sanctions imposed on it by WADA in December for manipulating and falsifying doping data from RUSADA’s Moscow laboratory. The appeal is scheduled to be heard from November 2-5, 2020.
RUSADA is appealing penalties that include a four-year ban on Russian athletes participating under their flag at major international competitions, including the next two Olympics.
Russian athletes who can prove to WADA’s satisfaction that they are clean will be eligible to compete as independent athletes under a neutral flag as was the case at PyeongChang 2018.
RUSADA was previously suspended for what has been determined as a vast state-supported doping system revealed in a 2015 WADA-commissioned report. Russia was reinstated by WADA in September 2018 with one of the conditions being full disclosure of doping data from the Moscow lab.
Written by Gerard Farek
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