WADA Compliance Review Committee chair disagrees with biathlete Samuelsson’s criticism

MOSCOW, January 8. /TASS/. Jonathan Taylor, chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Compliance Review Committee, does not think that Swedish biathlete Sebastian Samuelsson’s accusations against the committee are justified, Taylor said in a letter posted by BBC Sports Editor Dan Roan on his Twitter page.

Earlier, Samuelsson wrote a letter to Taylor criticizing the WADA decision not to declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant immediately after Russia had missed the deadline to hand over the data from the Moscow laboratory.

“I also agree that the absolute priority is to protect clean athletes from cheating. The only way to prove who has been cheated is to get the data”, Taylor wrote in the letter.

“That is not ‘seeking legal loopholes and excuses that most see as aiding the cheats’. It is about making sure that any ban stands up in court”, Taylor said.

“I am sorry you think it appropriate to accuse me/the CRC of lacking principles, of being unethical, and of being dishonest. I don’t think those accusations are justified”, he wrote.

On September 20, the WADA Executive Committee decided to reinstate RUSADA that was suspended in 2015 over non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code on condition that WADA would be granted access to the Moscow laboratory, sealed for a federal investigation, before the end of the year. In November and December 2018, WADA experts twice visited the Moscow laboratory but could not finish their work as their equipment was reportedly not certified under the Russian laws.

Nonetheless, WADA experts expressed their readiness to obtain the data on January 9, 2019. The WADA CRC will gather for a meeting on January 14-15 to consider all available data concerning compliance of RUSADA reinstatement requirements and will issue recommendations to the WADA Executive Committee, which is to take a final decision. If the decision is negative, RUSADA will be able to challenge it and notify WADA within 21 days. After that, the matter will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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