Situation in Russian sport arouses concern

09.03.2016 - International Cooperation

Six months before the Olympic Games in Rio, Russia still does not have a reliable control system

On 6 March Hajo Seppelt reported on the Westdeutsche Rundfunk broadcasting station that the doping situation in Russia does not appear to have improved. Coaches who have been banned for administering doping substances are apparently still working with athletes. Nor does the comprehensive overhaul of the anti-doping system pledged by the Russian sports minister following a report on 9 November 2015 by the World Anti-Doping Agency's Independent Commission appear to have been completed. Furthermore, Russia does not currently have a comprehensive control system as RUSADA, the Russian anti-doping agency, and the Russian control laboratory are still suspended.

“It is alarming and unacceptable that there should be no reliable control system in Russian sport in the run-up to the Summer Olympic Games in Rio,” said Dr Matthias Kamber, director of Antidoping Switzerland. “The British anti-doping organisation, UK Anti-Doping, and the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA took on the role of carrying out doping controls in Russia, but to my knowledge there were no controls for several months and currently they are inadequate,” Dr Kamber continued.

“Under these circumstances, we owe it to our athletes – who are subjected to a comprehensive control and prevention system – to continue to demand that the Russian athletes be excluded from the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games,” the director said.

Antidoping Switzerland continues to demand that the fight against doping should be intensified throughout the world, and that this should increasingly be the responsibility of accountable, independent agencies. Athletes cannot count on being treated equally and fairly, as the differences existing today in the various control regimes are too great. Strong, independent agencies are required that have sufficient funds to support less well developed anti-doping programmes in other countries.