Colorado Springs: The World Anti-Doping Agency continued to crack down on Russia drug cheats on Wednesday by suspending the country`s anti-doping agency amid calls to extend investigations to other countries and sports.
The decision to suspend the Russian Anti-Doping Agency for non-compliance had the full support of WADA`s foundation board and follows the international anti-doping commission`s report that detailed a widespread doping scandal in the country.
A Moscow lab which processed blood and urine samples from Russian athletes on behalf of the Russian athletics federation had already been decertified and handed a six-month provisional suspension.
A WADA disciplinary committee was appointed to look at a the possible longer suspension or recertification.
Former WADA President Dick Pound, who headed the independent commission, said the probe found cover-ups, bribes to conceal positive tests, destruction of samples and evidence of Russian state security services of colluding with the country`s athletics federation to enable athletes to freely dope.
"One of Dick`s (Pound) commissioners said it could be a game changer, I`m not sure that the best person to say whether it was, maybe I`m too close to it. But I was encouraged by the fact that a foundation board stepped up to the plate, took the recommendations and said yes we will adopt them and I think people clearly understand no matter how uncomfortable Dick Pound`s report makes them feel that it was worth the effort and that we have to move forward because there clear issues to be dealt with," said WADA President Craig Reedie.
WADA`s Director General David Howman said the ball was now in Russia`s court.
"The commitment really needs to come from the Russian authorities. So we will help them if they wish to exercise that commitment and exercise the necessary financial means to ensure they overcome the problems they`ve got because in overcoming them, they will need to change the structure of RUSADA. In overcoming them, they will also need to show the world that testing is going on during the period of restructure so the athletes in Russia cannot get a get out of jail free card. They`ve got to be subject to testing, we will ensure that we help Russia conduct that test through the support of the international federations, the support of, perhaps, some private testing companies, and so on," he explained.
Russia were barred last week by the IAAF and can only return to athletics competition once they have proven they have set up a new framework to stop doping.
Israel, Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia and Ukraine were also found non-compliant of the WADA Code and can no longer conduct anti-doping programs.
Brazil, which will host next year`s Summer Olympics, France, Belgium, Greece, Mexico and Spain were placed on a compliance "watch list" and have until March to get their house in order and bring their anti-doping programs in line with the WADA Code.