Dubai: All is not well in Russian athletics with Yuri Ganus, director general of Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), claiming foul play with regards to the “unacceptable” allegations of corruption posted against the anti-doping body.
Earlier last week, a user called ‘The post truth’ accused Ganus of conflict of interest and corruption on instant messaging platform Telegram.
Ganus countered that the allegations were being made to “discredit” his organisation. He became RUSADA secretary general in August 2017 and oversaw the controversial reinstatement of the organisation by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The move broke a period of deadlock and led to access to the Moscow Laboratory.
In December, WADA’s Executive Committee approved the recommendation of its Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to again deem RUSADA non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code, for failing to provide an “authentic” copy of the laboratory’s data.
The CRC has alleged that this data was manipulated before being handed over to investigators, which was a requirement for restoring RUSADA’s compliance with the code in September 2018.
We (RUSADA) expected such attacks because there are those that are unhappy about what we do. The question is, why are they doing it? Who is interested in doing that? Our agency is participating actively in the international agenda, we have a brilliant young team that we are proud of, and all of that is not appreciated
Among the sanctions, WADA has imposed on RUSADA is a four-year ban on the Russian flag flying at the Olympic Games and World Championships. Russia has also been barred from bidding for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and is set to be stripped of any World Championships it has been awarded. The Russian body has appealed the WADA decision to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) in Lausanne.
Ganus has rejected all claims, giving an extensive defence against the allegations in a press conference held via Zoom, late on Friday. He said that the author of the post had a “misunderstanding” of RUSADA and that there were anti-corruption processes in place which made the claims “impossible”.
“There is no single person who can freely manage the funds,” Ganus said during the press conference.
“Although being director-general, I do not have access to transfers, accounts and payments. Our system is balanced in such a way so that we can ensure mutual control over parts of the system,” he added.
“The goal of this article is clearly to discredit RUSADA, because they do not like the fact that we are an independent and active organisation,” Ganus said.
“We expected such attacks because there are those that are unhappy about what we do. The question is, why are they doing it? Who is interested in doing that? Our agency is participating actively in the international agenda, we have a brilliant young team that we are proud of, and all of that is not appreciated,” he countered.
Ganus was appointed to his current role after being chosen as someone who could inspire confidence in a renewed RUSADA and was untarnished by its central role in the doping scandal. After studying law, he planned to work in law enforcement but ended up in business, including shipping and heavy industry.
It is alleged that Ganus misappropriated at least 57 million rubles ($801,000 or Dhs 2.94 million) for 2018 and 53 million rubles for 2019. The user also claimed that Ganus used RUSADA money to pay for taxis and English lessons, while officials were able to take holidays on the pretence that they were on international business trips. At the end of the accusation, it is suggested a criminal case is set to be launched in the near future.