Russia may lose the right to host international sporting events due to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decision to not reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).
"The international Federation undertakes to accept applications to host the world Cup and other international sporting events only from those countries whose government has ratified, accepted, approved or acceded to the UNESCO Convention and where the national Olympic Committee and national anti-doping organization comply with the WADA code," said WADA Spokesperson Maggie Durand on Tuesday, according to Mega News.
In November, the WADA Foundation Board decided to extend RUSADA’s non-compliance with the WADA’s Code, which was updated through new amendments adopted that month. As stated in the amendments, non-compliant organizations are prohibited from accepting applications.
RUSADA lost its license in 2015 due to allegations of systematic doping that was discovered after Russia hosted the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The ultimate outcome of the situation was that Russian athletes who tested negative for substances were allowed to compete in the 2018 games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, but under a neutral flag.
"It should be clarified that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) remains non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code as it has not yet met the necessary criteria of RUSADA's Roadmap to Compliance, following Russia's proven systemic manipulation of the doping control process," read a statement by WADA.
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie said that the situation remains unchanged because of Russia's failure to publicly accept the findings of the WADA-commissioned McLaren Report, which noted that sports events in Russia have been corrupted by the Russian government’s failure to respect international norms.
But the Russians are not happy, and have routinely rejected accusations of state-sponsored doping.
“They link the issue of the restoration of RUSADA’s rights and its accreditation with WADA, but I believe that this is just an excuse,” said Dmitry Svishchev, the First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Education, Sports, and Youth Affairs.
“Probably, that's the actual reason why we are not given this accreditation, as not almost all, but absolutely all questions related to the restoration of RUSADA's rights were resolved. It only remains its demand to us to admit that we allegedly had a state program of doping support, but this is impossible to recognize, because we did not have, had and there will not be such a program," Svishchev, talking to Radio Sputnik.
Meanwhile, Russia is preparing to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup this summer. Games will be played in cities across the country, including Moscow, St. Petersburg and nine others.
"There are no risks for holding the competitions scheduled in Russia. We are fully focused on organizing these tournaments, which Russia won the right to host. And we guarantee that they will be held at the highest level,” read a statement by the ministry and reported by TASS news agency.
Russia is also planning for the FINA World Swimming Championship, to be held in Kazan in 2022.