Rusada missed deadline response like a “lynch mob” says Dick Pound

Rusada missed deadline response like a “lynch mob” says Dick Pound
Russia could now be at risk of another ban from international events

The response to Russia’s anti-doping agency (Rusada) missing a deadline to hand over data “has all the elements of a lynch mob” says ex-World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) president Dick Pound.

Rusada had until 31 December to provide data from its Moscow laboratory, but Wada was denied full access to samples.

As a result, 16 national anti-doping bodies (Nado) want Russia suspended.

“Many of those making up the mob know or should know that they are out of line,” said Pound.

In a blog on Inside the Games, he added: “Many others are not familiar enough with the issues to have such strident views and still more have not bothered to inform themselves.”

Wada’s compliance review committee (CRC) could recommend Russia is suspended again when it meets on 14 January, with the country having only been reinstated in September.

Some athletes and anti-doping organisations have demanded the panel convenes immediately, with Wada vice-president Linda Helleland calling on the agency to act “rapidly.”

But CRC chairman, British lawyer Jonathan Taylor QC, says Wada’s response does not lack urgency.

He added: “It might be said that there is nothing to be considered, the non-compliance is plain, the reasons are irrelevant, so following due process is futile and therefore unnecessary, but the courts do not like such arguments, and therefore the risk of successful challenge would be significant, which I don’t think anyone would want.”

Pound said: “I think more attention needs to be focused on those supporting the mob rule and possible reasons for their conduct.

“The real end-game here should be to obtain the requested data, to review it for evidence of possible doping cases that need to be pursued and to bring an end to a particularly sordid chapter of Russian conduct.

“It should also be a message that the rules apply to all countries.

“No alternatives to a robust Wada have been proposed. In only 20 years of existence, Wada has significantly raised the standards of the global fight against doping in sport.

“Efforts to discredit and destroy Wada will not help the fight against doping in sport and the protection of clean athletes, despite the athlete-centred rhetoric. They will lead to the anarchy that existed before Wada was created.

“Perhaps the real agenda is that those who would destroy Wada do not want a robust and independent agency leading this fight for sporting integrity, unless they can insert themselves into positions of power.”

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