The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decided on Thursday to lift, under certain conditions, the suspension of the organization of the Russian Anti-Doping Authority (RUSADA), imposed in 2015 following allegations of widespread state-sponsored doping.
In a long-awaited but harshly criticized decision, WADA said that one of the main stumbling blocks – access to urine samples stored in RUSADA’s laboratory in Moscow – had yet to be resolved.
The suspension could be reinstated if that did not happen within “a precise timeframe,” WADA added.
“Today, the vast majority of the WADA Executive Committee decided to restore RUSADA to compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code under strict conditions,” said WADA President Craig Reedie after a meeting in Seychelles.
RUSADA was suspended in November 2015 after an independent WADA report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren described evidence of systematic state-backed doping in Russian athletics.
The accusations, which Moscow has denied, led to Russia being suspended from this year’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, with some Russian athletes allowed to compete under the Olympic flag.