Russian pole vault great Yelena Isinbayeva was told yesterday that she must step down as the chair of Russia’s disgraced anti-doping agency Rusada before it is allowed to resume testing this summer.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) suspended Rusada and its main Moscow laboratory in November 2015 after an independent commission revealed its central role in covering up and facilitating Russian sport’s systematic cheating.
Since then, anti-doping in Russia has been run by British agency Ukad, while Wada has concentrated on overhauling Rusada’s culture, staff and working practices.
According to an update on that work at Wada’s foundation board meeting in Montreal on Thursday, Rusada is almost ready to be reinstated, with the removal of the controversial Isinbayeva being the final piece in the puzzle.
The double Olympic champion was appointed as the chair of Rusada’s supervisory board in December — a move that mystified many in the global anti-doping community given her strident criticism of Wada’s sanctions against Russia and denials of her country’s flagrant cheating.