Yelena Isinbayeva has been reappointed chair of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) Supervisory Board today,despite direct opposition from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), insidethegames can reveal.
The two-time Olympic pole vault champion, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was first elected to the position in December.
insidethegames understands that WADA subsequently questioned the decision as they did not believe she was the appropriate person to lead the organisation’s recovery from being declared non-compliant in 2015.
This led to a fresh RUSADA electoral process.
It was announced earlier this week that Isinbayeva had returned to the Supervisory Board.
It was thought that WADA had accepted this decision so long as she was not eligible to run for chair, President or vice-chair.
It was announced today, however, that Isinbayeva had been reelected chair after being proposed to the role by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).
“WADA has been informed of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’’s new appointments for its Supervisory Board, particularly the election of its new chair,” a WADA spokesperson told insidethegames.
“The appointment is not consistent with the roadmap established by WADA.
“Whilst it is the decision of the Russian authorities to elect its Board members, the Agency shall be passing this information on to its independent Compliance Review Committee for their review.”
The decision appears to be a major blow to RUSADA’s attempt to be renamed compliant with WADA following evidence of state-sponsored doping.
It also sheds serious doubt on the prediction of ROC President Alexander Zhukov today that RUSADA should be declared WADA compliant by May.
According to the WADA-commissioned McLaren Report, around 1,000 Russian athletes have been implicated in a “institutional” doping system in which samples were manipulated and tampered with at event including the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi.
Both the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the International Paralympic Committee have suspended the respective Russian national bodies.
A reinstatement of RUSADA compliance with WADA is considered an essential step towards either of these suspensions being lifted.