Dubai: The chasm of mistrust is slowly widening with Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdynakov accusing WADA of attempting to punish RUSADA in connection with the Russian doping case.
Russia’s official state news agency TASS reported earlier this week that Pozdynakov had accused the World Anti Doping Agency as simultaneously acting as “investigator, prosecutor and publisher” against RUSADA.
“In a steady flow of attempts to punish RUSADA, we see a persistent desire of our colleagues from the international governing body [WADA] to assume the right of being an investigator, prosecutor and punisher at the same time,” Pozdynakov said.
Quoted by TASS, Pozdynakov was responding to the alleged statements by former chairman of the WADA Compliance Review Committee, Jonathan Taylor.
Pozdynakov has alleged that Taylor said he had “aimed to humiliate Russian athletes”.
“Everything that we are speaking about has continued for a number of years, but we, the people of Russia, remain patient and courageous, overcoming all difficulties,” Pozdynakov said.
In reference to the erstwhile Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in 1945 Pozdynakov was also critical while clarifying that: “This is what our ancestors did 75 years ago and we must not be weaker in comparison to them.”
WADA has also been equally quick to draw up its plan of action for the future. They were quick to issue an official statement in response to Pozdynakov’s comments. “WADA is very confident in the robustness and independence of its processes,” the statement read.
“In every investigation they conduct, WADA investigators operate thoroughly and independently from WADA management and governing bodies, and go wherever the evidence leads them. In all compliance cases in relation to a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code such as RUSADA, the independent Compliance Review Committee makes its recommendations to the WADA Executive Committee, which is made up equally of representatives from the Sports Movement, including an athlete, and Governments of the world,” it said.
“In the case of RUSADA, both the Compliance Review Committee and Executive Committee were unanimous. Ultimately, it is the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS in Lausanne) that decides, not WADA, which adds another layer of independence to the process,” the statement added.
The case goes back to the alleged manipulation of data found in a Moscow Laboratory, relating to the files of 145 athletes within a group of 298, all targeted through an ongoing Operation LIMS investigation.
A hearing in relation to the case has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but WADA hopes it will be held at least in July. In February, WADA failed in a bid to have the case held publicly because all parties involved could not reach an agreement.
Among the sanctions handed to RUSADA by WADA are a four-year ban on the country’s flag at either Olympic Games or 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 if CAS rules in WADA’s favour in the future.