Tatyana Lebedeva: WADA Commission’s report is one-sided and unsubstantiated

Tatyana Lebedeva: WADA Commission’s report is one-sided and unsubstantiated

On Monday, a report of the independent commission World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), containing numerous accusations against the Russian Athletics Federation, the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency and the Ministry of Sports of Russia, was made public on Monday. 

The document's authors consider that both functionaries in this area and athletes committed systematic violations of anti-doping regulations. An initiative to deprive Russia of the right to participate in the Olympics was made in connection with it.

Senator of the Volgograd Region, member of the Federation Council Committee on Social Policy, the Olympic champion in 2004 in long jump, multiple world, European and Russian champion Tatyana Lebedeva told Vestnik Kavkaza about the main points of the report that cause serious doubts. "Probably, it has already been criticized everywhere about the various groundless arguments. It seems that the authors of the report are actually retelling a German film of the ARD TV channel, which was released a year ago. Certainly, there are points to which we should pay attention. But on the other hand, the report contains a lot of untrue facts and any court would reject it at once. There is no clear evidence,’’ she said.

"Of course, I expected that the report would contain not only information about Russia, but the scandal that took place in the IAAF when in early November the former president of the World Association of Athletics Federations was arrested and then released on bail. If you write about this, then you should cover the whole system with all its problems. The report is one-sided and it contains information only about Russia,’’ the senator commented.

She noted that the publication of this report was not a surprise. "A year ago, a documentary film was broadcast by the TV channel ARD. It was also dedicated to this issue. According to it, a commission was established to conduct an investigation. The Ethics Committee if the International Federations also created a commission to investigate. Almost a year passed, but we didn't receive any new information. It's all the same,’’ Lebedev said.

"But the recommendations of the report suggested disqualifying Russian athletes from participating in the Olympic Games. Certainly, this suggestion oversteps all the limits. Those athletes who are recommended to be disqualified for the rest of their lives have never been convicted of taking stimulants. There is only indirect evidence: someone wrote down what they said. How can an athlete be disqualified for the whole of his life? According to the WADA code, an athlete can be disqualified for four years for taking performance-enhancing drugs. But not for his entire life. Even American sprinter Justin Gatlin, who was found guilty of taking stimulants twice, is performing now. Of course, these recommendations are preposterous,’’ she said.

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