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‘We are on the brink of a cliff’: Russian anti-doping chief asks Putin to protect national sport

‘We are on the brink of a cliff’: Russian anti-doping chief asks Putin to protect national sport
The head of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Yuri Ganus has asked President Vladimir Putin for assistance with solving a knotty issue regarding access to the Moscow laboratory.

The future of Russian sport is on a cliff edge, after the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) officials were not allowed to extract the lab’s data as their equipment was not certified under Russian law.

READ MORE: ‘We will find a solution’: Russian sports minister on WADA access to lab data

A failure to retrieve doping data from the laboratory might result in RUSADA’s repeat suspension as, according to the agreement with WADA, the deadline for the doping data extraction is December 31.

In an official letter, addressed to Putin on Thursday, the RUSADA chief expressed concern and asked the president to “save the future of Russian sport.”

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As RUSADA’a director general and a Russian citizen, I express concern over RUSADA’s possible suspension and the consequences we may face for non-fulfillment of our obligations [before WADA] following RUSADA’s reinstatement,” Ganus stressed.

Russian athletes will be prohibited from taking part in any international competitions and Russia will not be allowed to host international sporting events,” he added.

READ MORE: RUSADA chief calls for red tape to be lifted as WADA officials return home from Moscow empty-handed

Ganus emphasized that RUSADA’s repeat suspension will undermine the country’s credibility and inflict irreparable damage to the Russian sport.

Declaring RUSADA non-compliant with WADA code will lead to Russia’s sport self-isolation. RUSADA is a central chain of Russia’s anti-doping system, which has fully restored its functioning during a short period of time and has become one of the world’s leading agencies according to WADA’s recent audit,” the RUSADA head noted.

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We are on the brink of a cliff and I’m asking you to protect the future and present of our clean sport as well as future generations of Russian athletes,” Ganus pleaded.

WADA reinstated Russia’s anti-doping body in September, ending a three-year ban. It emphasized, however, that it would suspend RUSADA again if Russia fails to fulfill its commitments.

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