Russia is struggling to get a foothold back into sporting respectability and the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says it is a “long way” from meeting global standards on banned drugs.
With a world athletics championships looming in London in 2017, the disclosure on Monday of another Russian gold medal doping failure from the 2012 London Olympics has again hit Russia’s case for a return. Yuliya Zaripova, who won the 3,000 metres steeplechase in London, was revealed by the International Olympic Committee as having tested positive for the steroid turinabol. Two silver medal winning weightlifters from Russia were also caught in new analyses of their samples.
A new report by (WADA) investigator Richard McLaren to be released on December 9 could increase the problems. Russia’s case– tainted by an inquiry which alleged state-sponsored doping– and how to reform the international anti-doping regime dominated a meeting of the WADA last weekend. Russia is suspended by WADA, the International Association of Athletic Associations (IAAF), and under an intense spotlight in other sports.
Vladimir Smirnov, a former Russian sports minister who heads the country’s anti-doping commission, denied there was any government involvement. But Dick Pound, head of WADA from 1999 to 2007, said however that Russia had to come clean and “recognise the problems” in doping. WADA president Craig Reedie, who was reelected to another three year mandate in Glasgow on Sunday, said that Russia was heading “in the right direction” but was still mired in doping doubts.