The CCES calls on WADA to defer decision regarding RUSADA’s compliance status

(Ottawa, Ontario – September 18, 2018) – The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), Canada’s national anti-doping organization, is troubled by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) statements issued September 14 and 15 regarding the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) by the WADA Executive Committee.

Due to the lack of transparency and communication demonstrated by WADA about its plans to table RUSADA’s reinstatement at the WADA Executive Committee meeting on September 20, the CCES recommends deferring the issue until the next Executive Committee and Foundation Board meeting in November. This delay would provide adequate time for WADA and the Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to share information with stakeholders well in advance of the meeting on the clear rationale for how it believes RUSADA has now met all conditions of the RUSADA: Roadmap to Compliance. WADA’s decision must be principled and athlete-centered if it hopes to maintain athletes’ confidence in the global anti-doping system.

The CCES fully supports the CRC and believes that the criteria presented in the Roadmap are fair and achievable. The CCES acknowledges the work done by RUSADA in order to meet 29 of the 31 criteria to date; but at present, the CCES disagrees with the CRC’s assessment that Russia has met the two remaining criteria of the Roadmap, which are:

  1. The responsible authorities for anti-doping in Russia must publically accept the reported outcomes of the McLaren Investigation (aka Independent Person Investigation). This includes: RUSADA, the Ministry of Sport and the National Olympic Committee.
  2. The Russian Government must provide access for appropriate entities to the stored urine samples in the Moscow Laboratory. These samples are sealed off due to a Federal investigation.

In reviewing the materials made available by WADA on September 14 and 15, it is clear that Russia has not achieved either of these remaining criteria. Therefore, to reinstate RUSADA at this time would be entirely premature and, in any event, would also mean changing the Roadmap.

The CCES strongly disagrees with WADA’s assertion that strong leadership requires flexibility that calls for making nuanced interpretations of the Roadmap. As the global regulator, WADA must always demonstrate strength of purpose and conviction. Strong leadership requires holding signatories accountable to the requirements set out in the World Anti-Doping Code and, in this case, the requirements of the Roadmap. WADA does not offer flexible nuanced interpretations of the Code for athletes who commit anti-doping rule violations, so why would it do so for the perpetrators of the biggest doping conspiracy in the history of sport?

“The international sport community has galvanized around this issue… WADA can’t ignore the number of athletes and sport organizations that are demanding the right to clean sport,” says Paul Melia, CCES president and CEO. “When athletes rallied at the 1st WADA Global Athlete Forum in June 2018, participants called for the Roadmap to be enforced. If WADA disregards the voice of clean athletes – the primary stakeholder in drug-free sport and the Olympic Movement – then who are we doing this for?”

About the CCES

The CCES is an independent, national, not-for profit organization with a responsibility to administer the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. We recognize that true sport can make a great difference for individuals, communities and our country. The CCES acknowledges funding, in part, from the Government of Canada. We are committed to making sport better by working collaboratively to activate a values-based and principle-driven sport system; protecting the integrity of sport from the negative forces of doping and other unethical threats; and advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open to everyone.


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