Israel Named Alongside Russia in Anti-doping Crackdown

World Anti-Doping Agency says there is evidence that Russian state security services were colluding with athletes to permit them to dope freely.

Nikita Kamaev, managing director of Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA), talks to reporters at the agency headquarters in Moscow. Nov. 10, 201
AP

The World Anti-Doping Agency continued to crack down on drug cheats on Wednesday by suspending the anti-doping agencies of Russia and finding a number of countries non-compliant with its rules amid calls to extend investigations to other sports. 

Alongside Russia, Israel, Andorra, Argentina, Bolivia and Ukraine were also found non-compliant of the WADA Code and can no longer conduct anti-doping programs and given until March 18 to comply.

WADA's spokesman, Ben Nichols, told The Guardian that “Andorra and Israel were declared non-compliant after it was deemed that they did not have sufficient anti-doping rules in place. Argentina, Bolivia and Ukraine were declared non-compliant for using non-accredited laboratories for their urine and blood sample analysis – this is prohibited under world anti-doping rules."

The decision to suspend the Russian Anti-Doping Agency for non-compliance had the full support of WADA's foundation board and follows the international anti-doping commission's report that detailed a widespread doping scandal in the country. 

A Moscow lab which processed blood and urine samples from Russian athletes on behalf of the Russian athletics federation had already been decertified and handed a six-month provisional suspension. 

A WADA disciplinary committee was appointed to look at the possible longer suspension or recertification. 

Former WADA President Dick Pound, who headed the independent commission, said the probe found cover-ups, bribes to conceal positive tests, destruction of samples and evidence of Russian state security services of colluding with the country's athletics federation to enable athletes to freely dope. 

Russia were barred last week by the IAAF and can only return to athletics competition once they have proven they have set up a new framework to stop doping. 

Brazil, which will host next year's Summer Olympics, France, Belgium, Greece, Mexico and Spain were placed on a compliance "watch list" and have until March to get their house in order and bring their anti-doping programs in line with the WADA Code. 

While Russia and their athletics program have been in the WADA crosshairs, Pound has repeatedly made it clear that Russia is not the only country and athletics not the only sport with doping issues. 

"There have been a lot of calls for a more comprehensive investigation on the basis that it surely is not just athletics in Russia. But whether the WADA management will be able to do that or not I don't know," said Pound. 

"Russia is not the only country in the world with this problem so let's not try and make it look as though we think that is the case. 

"We know about Turkey, we know about Kenya and we know about others so you have to be somewhat even-handed so you don't look like you are picking on one country even if that country has a major problem." 

The foundation board heard from several members urging the global agency to do more and dig deeper. 

Beckie Scott, a Canadian cross-country Olympic champion and chair of the WADA athlete committee, told the board that many athletes have asked her why the commission was focused solely on Russia and Russian athletics. 

"They're saying, 'Why not all sports?'" Scott told the board meeting via conference call. "We're at a crossroads. We urge you to please consider the athletes and sports as a whole."