The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says it has referred the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's challenge of its non-compliant status to the Court of Arbitration for Sport

Montreal (AFP) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Friday it has submitted to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) objections from Russia’s anti-doping agency RUSADA about its non-compliance status.

RUSADA last month disputed WADA’s allegation of non-compliance relating to “Russian federal sports legislation discovered following an audit in September 2022.”

The Russian agency was suspended over the breaches from 2020 until December 2022 and cannot be reinstated due to two ongoing investigations, said WADA general counsel Ross Wenzel.

The case was presented to the CAS “earlier this week,” he said during the agency’s annual meeting held in Montreal.

Wenzel also indicated that WADA was still reviewing the conditions for reinstatement of RUSADA related to the discovery of “massive data manipulations in the Moscow laboratory in 2019.” More than 220 sanctions have been imposed by WADA since then.

WADA concluded that “it will be necessary to conduct an in person audit or visit,” recognizing also challenges linked to the Russia-Ukraine war.

At the meeting, several members of the council also stressed the need to communicate more about the anti-doping tests carried out on Russian and Belarusian athletes ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games.

Russia’s flag and athletes have already been banned in many sports in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The anti-doping agencies of Tunisia, Nigeria and Venezuela were also sanctioned for non-compliance with WADA rules.

They lose their rights within the organization, can no longer host major sporting events and their flags cannot be presented during major competitions, including the Olympic Games, as long as they do not meet WADA’s conditions.

The Olympic Council of Asia, meanwhile, was sanctioned for “presenting the flag of North Korea at the Asian Games” and must pay a fine of $500,000.

Also Friday, WADA confirmed that Russia and Belarus do not intend to pay their annual contributions to the organization.

The two countries “no longer recognise the mechanism for distributing contributions through the Council of Europe, of which they are not members,” said WADA director general Olivier Niggli.

“This is a problem for WADA as this fee will not be able to be compensated by other means,” he said.

The combined contribution of the two countries is $1.3 million. Russia’s share is similar to that of France or Britain.

Finally, WADA expressed concern about Russia’s plans to organize next year the “World Friendship Games,” an international competition.

The international body said it has “concerns from an antidoping perspective,” adding that it would closely monitor developments.

WADA notably recalled that a country not respecting its own regulations could not organize a major competition, and that any member participating in the games could face “possible consequences.”