World Anti-Doping Agency president Craig Reedie said Thursday the body could lift its suspension of Russia's drug-testing authority later this year after nearly two years on the blacklist. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has been suspended since 2015 in the wake of the report by Richard McLaren which uncovered widespread doping in Russian sport. Reedie, however, said RUSADA had taken concrete steps to clean up its image and could resume testing next month based on compliance criteria requested by WADA.
"There is a huge amount of work being done," Reedie told a press conference following WADA's Foundation Board meeting. "The board decided if we receive, and I'm sure we will, the necessary information ... that the Russian anti-doping agency would be able to resume its testing program," Reedie added.
Russia's commitment to comply with WADA's demanded improvements was called into question by the appointment of former pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva as president of RUSADA last December. Isinbayeva had been sharply critical of the McLaren report, claiming it unfairly targeted Russia in what she described as a "political act." McLaren's report had uncovered vast evidence of doping across Russian sport which took place with the connivance of RUSADA.