The World Anti-Doping Agency has pushed Russia one step closer to a ban from the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, saying Russia has been non-compliant in its anti-doping standards. WADA tweeted the decision on Wednesday night, as an upholding of the original decision which came after the . That inquiry found widespread doping schemes between Russian athletes and officials.
WADA Foundation Board approves the recommendation by the Independent Compliance Review Committee that RUSADA remain non-compliant.— WADA (@wada_ama) November 16, 2017
Russian officials have repeatedly denied the report's findings. To regain compliance, a 32-point plan was laid out for the RUSADA. Accoring to WADA, two of the 32 points were not met. Russia refused to acknowledge the existence of the program and would not provide access to a Moscow lab for WADA officials. Now, the decision is ultimately outside of WADA's hands, and rests on the International Olympic Committee.
The IOC is expected to make its decision at a board meeting next month. These findings come only three months before the games are to commence in South Korea. CNN reports that the RUSADA's Yuri Ganus wasn't surprised by the result, but claimed that the two unfulfilled conditions were outside of his control. The sports minister, Pavel Kolobkov, said of the unfulfilled demands: "These two demands are obviously of a political nature."
Russian Olympic Committee head Alexander Zhukov called the accusations a "joke."
WADA president Craig Reedie believes Russia has time to compete. "There is time before their decision," Reeid said, via CNN. "There are potential for things to change. First we have board meetings to do and things will change."
Russia's committee heads have vigorously denied allegations, and it seems unlikely that they will stop. For now, the decision will have to rest in the hands of the IOC, but non-compliance, let alone reestablished non-compliance, is a big step in the wrong direction for Russia.