WADA Suspends RUSADA; Rio 2016 Hosts Brazil Among Several Nations Put On Notice

Two of the first casualties of the WADA IC report: Lamine Diack, left, and Grigory Rodchenkov

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), at the heart of wrongdoing in the Russian sports system according to investigators in the media and the Independent Commission report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, has been suspended after being declared “non-compliant”. The same status was slapped on Andorra, Israel, Argentina, Bolivia and Ukraine, all of which have until March 18 to comply or face sanction. There were warning, too, for several other nations, including 2016 Olympic hosts Brazil, France, Spain, Greece, Mexico and Belgium, were put on a compliance “watch list” and given four months to put their houses in order.

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The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), at the heart of wrongdoing in the Russian sports system according to investigators in the media and the Independent Commission report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, has been suspended after being declared “non-compliant”. The same status was slapped on Andorra, Israel, Argentina, Bolivia and Ukraine, all of which have until March 18 to comply or face sanction. There were warning, too, for several other nations, including 2016 Olympic hosts Brazil, France, Spain, Greece, Mexico and Belgium, were put on a compliance “watch list” and given four months to put their houses in order.

Comments

Yozhik

“The same model that places Maglione where he is also places many leaders from federations domestic and international where they are in the corridors of sports power and decision making.” That is it, Craig. We are this model and media is our voice. That is what can make national federations active. Clean national ADAs (and WADA itself) and strong public opinion is the only way, I think, to fight the corruption at high levels and to make officials to do the job they are expected to do. The uncompromised journalism is the only more or less independent force that can make sport governing process transparent and corrupted officials accountable. The ARD German TV documentary is one of such examples. We shouldn’t expect the bureaucratic system to evolve from within. Why would someone try to change the system if the way it is functioning made it possible for this person to be successful with his position. Another influential and controlling power is coaching body that is the very heart of the sport – sees everything, knows everything, is in the position to affect the culture of the sport. Athletes come and go, coaches are staying. The only problem is that they can hardly be considered independent with their position between those who pays them and athletes who may have different agenda of their short sport career.

Anthony Arne

Isn’t WADA itself partly to blame for some of what has happened in Russia? Are they the ones that are in charge of certifying the testing labs? And in this case they were asleep at the wheel and didn’t have proper procedures in place to catch on to what was happening. But now we are to believe they are the ones to come along and save the day. They are just sheep in different clothing and the author of this website appears to buy into everything they have for sale.

Yozhik

I want to believe that “asleep at the wheel” is more accurate metapfor than “sheep in different clothing”. But before using any of them it would be nice to know more about WADA and what it actually is. How is it formed, how administrators are getting their positions (assigned/elected). Whom they report to. Is there any procedure in place that independently controls and reviews WADA’s activity. Are there any incentives/punishments that depends on the quality of WADA’s job. How is WADA’s budget formed. Does WADA’s working model look more business like or it is just a public office which decency depends entirely on the integrity of its leaders. What made WADA to look so decisive now and for how long this decisiveness will last.
I don’t have answers on any questions mentioned above and will rely therefore on Anthony Arne’s opinion. He sounds like he knows.

Craig Lord

I buy into nothing (barring the glaringly obvious wrongdoing exposed by Russian whistleblowers who stand to gain little but their freedom and conscience, by the ARD and team, others and confirmed and added to by WADA’s investigators), including your opinion of things you know nothing of – my mind, A. Arne. I know what I know; I write what I can … and I shall write what I come to know and am able to write. And what I say and write with conviction is that WADA is not ‘just sheep in different clothing’; that’s not what the WADA report tells us… they may well be imperfect… and conflicts of interest are in the mix, too … but the same they are not, followers of the cheating, corrupt and fraudulent ways of those cited in the report they are not, and it may be wise of you to avoid saying so in the absence of any proof of what you appear to allege. You need to think more deeply, more broadly and avoid reaching for the small thought that sums up complex matters. This is not an issue that can be dealt with in a generation X sentence or two, in my opinion. While there may be issues with WADA and what it is becoming and then what it becomes, the bigger and more pressing matter is the obvious wrongdoing at the heart of sport. I’d rather hear what people think should happen next than ‘the police are to blame cos it all happened on their watch, even if now they’ve caught some thieves’.

Craig Lord

He sounds like he thinks he knows, Yozhik. There is a subtle difference. Your questions are good and many answers are on the wada website… some pertain to the history of how it all came about and in the mix there there are uncomfortable links and there are troubling aspects to the industry that is anti-doping. None of which, in my view, should take the eye off the massive fraud and cheating of the kind it was all set up to fight…
As I suggest in my reply to A Arne, what WADA will become requires careful consideration and independent observation on a number of levels.

Anthony Arne

I dont know anything but what I read here and on other websites. I do also believe the police are not to blame when crime occurs but if the police are found to be incompetent then they should be replaced. Lastly the “Independent Commission” is not independent when the former President of Wada Dick Pound is in charge of the report and certainly has a vested interest in not pointing out the flaws and mistakes of his organization. I am not really sure what I expect out of WADA here because it seems the sports federations are really still in control of the governance of their sports but I hope that we just dont blindly think WADA is going to walk in the door and save the day.

Craig Lord

Anthony, I don’t think anyone is suggesting that WADA is all hero, no issue. We are a week beyond a watershed moment in world sport: the moment WADA’s commission (independent or otherwise) showed itself capable of making a move in the right direction, one that runs counter to the laissez-faire look-the-other-way approach that has been a part of the history of the IOC, IAAF, FINA and many other organisations that do indeed control the anti-doping testing process and have dictated what substances should be tested for and when. It has not been WADA’s fault that the likes of FINA has declared meet after big meet “xxxx samples analysed; all tests returned negative – great championships” while failing to tell us all what was left off the tick list of “please test for this” sent to the lab with the samples. Has WADA had the power to do anything about that? Yes, if power is to ask people to comply; no, if it were to mean imposing sanctions on those who are non-compliant. That remains the case now; even if WADA backs up the IC recommendation and states ‘Russian track is barred from Rio’, the decision will rest with the member of the IOC, IAAF, which itself is under a very dark cloud indeed. So, any pointing at WADA with a mind to ask ‘independent?’, ‘vested interests’ and so on most definitively extends to the same among the folk who really do pull the strings right now: politics, power and money on two legs and mostly (by a vast margin) male. The entire system of Olympic sport (and some other sports realms, too) is established on a foundation of universality at arms length from mainstream politics so that a world at war may still come together in common spirit and compete. Some very pleasant ambitions in the Olympic Charter. There is much that is undemocratic in the structure, too, the autonomy (noted in the Charter and sports constitutions far and wide) of sport often used as an excuse to say ‘we run the show and we’re not open to review and do not have to heed your criticism if we don’t want, even when things are proven to be truly unpalatable and even when our key stakeholders, those folk we represent tell us they’d like a review’, so to speak. At this juncture in the development of sport and what it means to societies and where it all fits in our socio-economic structures, we are presented with massive fraud, corruption, deceit and wrong-doing on a number of levels, ant-doping one of them. As you suggest, if policemen and women are proven to have got it wrong, the police need review, restructure, rebuilding – but THE police must remain and THE police will surely be doing an awful lot that is good and right even when bad things are happening. Myriad examples of just that out there in the world. No matter how WADA and its structures and how it dovetails into IOC and other words should be looked at and opened to review and restructure, what we find right now is an organisation that was presented with clear evidence – from whistleblowers and the media they worked with – of massive fraud at the heart of sport in the very realm it oversees: doping and anti-doping. What we find is an investigations team that went to find and found and then reported back with a recommendation for stark sanction and a demand for wholesale change. That investigation happened to focus on one sport and one nation in particular but the authors of the report were keen to point out that many other sports and other nations have a problem, too.
So, yes, we should also consider the structures and relationships of and within WADA and question them – and independent observation/second-chamber system is clearly required at a number of levels in world sport, doping included – BUT none of that should make us lose sight of the main issue here: very bad stuff has been uncovered; WADA’s IC should be applauded for that. Imagine a scenario back in the days of the GDR where media uncovered the truth and the regime said ‘ok, here’s a team of investigators, let’s see if the whistleblowers are telling the truth and the media got it right’. We know what the outcome was (not would have been) and we know that all authorities since the fall of the Berlin Wall have not only sought to let the matter rest like a sleeping dog, despite criminal convictions and evidence galore, but have promoted the very results that spoke to the fraud, knowing that to do anything else would be to confirm their own failings (and no sporting body has ever gone after the criminals, the likes of Lothar Kipke still with a FINA honour next to his name); we now have a similar situation in which the leaders of sport would prefer not to have this dark cloud hanging over a great many sports, the droplets of doping and other issues threatening to turn into a deluge… they would prefer to have the big threat turn into ‘look what Russia did to improve – well done and welcome home’ by Rio 2016. That is totally unrealistic and few would believe that anything meaningful had truly happened if this is all set to one side by next August. What happens next will be a true test of the commitment of the entire system (not just WADA, for WADA does not have the final say) to clean up. There is a vast road ahead. We see a ‘non-compliance’ list of nations this week that does not include China, for example, when quite clearly there have been some clear signs of non-compliance from that nation in sport. Meanwhile, Dick Pound was not asked to point out the flaws in his own organisation… he was asked to look into the allegations of massive fraud in Russia – and the outcome is there for all to see. There are those who would now love to turn the issue into ‘well what about WADA’ if only to take the eye off the network of deceit that has been uncovered and is yet to be fully revealed. I am not suggesting WADA should not be open to review but I am suggesting that the most pressing message to WADA right now is: good, keep going, there’s an awful lot of cleaning up to do. On a parallel track, yes, discussion should be held about the independence of WADA and whether the organisation is the right one to take over global testing, something I see as preferable to what we have now, with foxes in charge of chicken sheds here and there. I hope that takes you closer to my mind.

Yozhik

@CL. Wow. Such a strong reply that should be an editorial. Why to have it so deeply in “comments” body just to help one person to understand that in such turbulent time when the balance of power got disturbed any critics should be applied very wisely. It may cause more harm than good. The target should be clearly specified and discussion of parallel issues has to be postponed (not forgotten). It is not just some athletic federation that is in trouble. It is a powerful state government with money and influence has chosen to fraud the sport for political purposes to help to stay in power. This intent has to be fought decisively so there would be no desire for anybody to repeat it in the future again. That is the main target today. Anybody who are in the position to make a difference should be united now and put aside temporarily problems of lesser magnitude.

Yozhik

On the other hand having it in discussion form maybe safer and more efficient. I take my recommendation (editorial) back.

Craig Lord

Yozhik, it requires more thought and structure (and some knowledge I await …) for me to turn those thoughts into something that I would feel was constructive (it’s only partly baked, so to speak 🙂 … and, your first thoughts about balance of power etc are good, in my view.

beachmouse

Spain’s warning likely comes in part from, quelle surprise, actions within their track & field federation.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/athletics/34873287

I do wonder if Brazil’s issues are actually on the swim side though they seem to be doing better than they were a few years back.

Yozhik

Damn it. I shouldn’t be that lazy on go to European Championships. Such a great opportunity to get medal was missed 🙁
The following is excerption from the link provided by beachmouse.
” …..Dominguez’s results between 5 August 2009 and 8 July 2013 have been disqualified, which means she loses her Berlin 2009 gold and 2010 European 3,000m steeplechase silver medal.

The athlete who came second to Dominguez in Berlin was Russia’s Yuliya Zaripova, who is serving a two-and-a-half year ban for doping that is subject to another appeal.

But the cancellation of her 2010 European silver should mean an upgrade for Britain’s Hatti Archer, who finished fourth in that race. In fact, the two other runners ahead of her – Zaripova and Lyubov Kharlamova – have both been given bans but were eligible to race at the time.
….”

Craig Lord

Well, you’ll know next time, Yozhik – expect a stampede 🙂

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