THE BIG PICTURE: Anger over WADA’s reinstatement of Russia continues unabated

The anger over the reinstatement of Russia by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) continues unabated. The latest is from WADA’s own Athlete Commission, released by its chair, Canadian Beckie Scott. It starts with:

“As clean athletes we are devastated with WADA’s decision to reinstate RUSADA without the completion of the road map. RUSADA is back, yet there has been no public acceptance of wrongdoing, and the samples still sit locked away in the Moscow lab. We had expected that WADA would stand up for clean athletes and clean sport, instead, we have seen nuance and pragmatism overtake justice and accountability. …

“Russia has used its athletes, committed the biggest doping scandal of the century, corrupted the anti-doping and sport movements, and has now been welcomed back on a promise, without even complying with the rules. This is not good enough.”

The statement further notes that “We are the ones who train, compete and dream of winning medals, who demand fairness, and we are the ones that lost out when the rules are broken, and when sanctions are not followed.”

The signees include individual athletes from Argentina, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Switzerland and athlete commissions from the Athletics (IAAF) and Badminton (BWF) federations and national athlete groups from Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and the Netherlands.

WADA president Craig Reedie (GBR) defended the deal in an open letter posted on the WADA Web site and stated that “This week’s decision was based entirely on achieving Russian compliance, as properly delivered.”

Interestingly, while Reedie’s letter had a home-page link on the WADA site, the letter from its own Athlete Commission was not to be found anywhere on the site; it was not even linked to the page on the Athlete Commission.

Instead, it was released by Scott on her personal Twitter page.