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Russia still not compliant on doping, could miss 2018 Olympics: WADA

Russia could still miss the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang because it remains "non-compliant" with doping laws, the global WADA agency said Thursday.
/ Source: Reuters

Russia remains "non-compliant" with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, the agency said Thursday, dealing a major blow to its hopes of competing at February's Winter Olympics.

Russia's anti-doping agency (RUSADA) has been suspended since a 2015 WADA report found evidence of state-sponsored doping and accused it of systematically violating anti-doping regulations.

WADA set out a roadmap for Russia to regain its status but at a meeting of its Foundation Board in Seoul on Thursday decided that key criteria had not been met.

WADA President Craig Reedie said the Board approved the recommendation by the Independent Compliance Review Committee that RUSADA remain non-compliant as two key requirements for reinstatement had still not been fulfilled.

"Having set a road map for compliance, there are two issues that have to be fulfilled and we can't walk away from the commitments," Reedie told reporters, adding that the RUSADA has made improvements.

Kuwait, Equatorial Guinea and Mauritius had also been found non-compliant by the Board, it added.

The decision is likely to add more pressure on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Russian athletes from the 2018 Winter Games, which are being held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Russia escaped a blanket ban at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro but remains barred from competing in international athletics events.

Craig Reedie.KIM HONG-JI / Reuters

Yuri Ganus, director general of RUSADA, said the agency had done everything ii could to be reinstated apart from two criteria that had not been met and were out of its control.

"We fulfilled all the criteria that depended on us," Ganus told a news conference in Moscow. "There were two points that were beyond our prerogatives. Unfortunately they were not fulfilled."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested the allegations were an attempt to sow discontent ahead of Russia's presidential elections.