Paris, 19 September, 2018 — The AFLD expresses its disagreement with any premature decision by WADA to reinstate RUSADA, and believes that WADA must maintain its position until all the outstanding criteria have been fulfilled.

The French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) was surprised to learn of the compromise proposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regarding the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), up for review by WADA’s Executive Committee when it meets on 20 September.

The revelation, by the McLaren Report, of the institutionalised doping scheme in Russia dealt a heavy blow to the credibility of the fight against doping.

It did, however, allow  WADA to demonstrate its investigation capacities, its independence and its resolve to sanction such intolerable behaviour, irrespective of the power and influence of the country in question. The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) adopted by WADA also shows the significant progress made as a result of the collective awareness triggered by the Russian crisis.

In doing so, WADA strongly asserted its position as an institution that ensures the world anti-doping system’s integrity and protects athletes’ rights.

The AFLD recognizes and supports WADA’s positive action in that area, but believes that reinstating RUSADA before Russia has fulfilled all outstanding criteria set out by WADA itself would likely undermine the significant progress made in the last two years.

Such a step would seriously damage the credibility that the world anti-doping system had just begun to win back. WADA must continue to set an example by staying true to its values and remaining consistent and steadfast in its demands of Russia.

Specifically, the AFLD believes that it is essential that Russia immediately allow access to the data and samples in the Moscow Laboratory, so that WADA’s investigations and the resulting disciplinary procedures may be concluded.

While we look forward to seeing Russia return to the community of sporting nations committed to the fight against doping, any hasty decision by WADA, which would go against the Roadmap it had set out, would have a detrimental long-term impact.

For this reason, the AFLD stands alongside numerous athletes and national anti-doping organisations, as well as the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO), to express its disagreement with the recommendation made to WADA’s Executive Committee to reinstate RUSADA as the situation currently stands.

Dominique Laurent, President of the AFLD, states: “The anti-doping system in Russia and in the world cannot be built on impunity and the relinquishment of its founding principles.”