Vicki Aggar considered WADA resignation after RUSADA reinstatement
Last Updated: 21/09/18 10:21pm
British former Paralympic rower Vicki Aggar says she considered resigning from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) athlete committee after describing the reinstatement of Russia’s anti-doping body as ”one of the worst days in the history of sport”.
RUSADA had been suspended since November 2015 for alleged state-sponsored doping but a meeting of WADA's 12-strong ExCo voted to lift the ban despite opposition from athletes and anti-doping agencies around the world.
...It's no exaggeration to say that in many ways the decision WADA made sounded the death knell for the anti-doping movement as we know it.
Chair of the British Athletes Commission Vicki Aggar
"Yesterday marked one of the worst days in the history of sport," chair of the British Athletes Commission Aggar said.
"The decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), an organisation I have been proud to represent for a number of years, was one which I was not proud of.
"It was without doubt the most devastating day in the history of anti-doping; and it's no exaggeration to say that in many ways the decision WADA made sounded the death knell for the anti-doping movement as we know it.
"Given the significance of the decision, and from speaking to athletes across Britain and the world, it's safe to say that anti-doping will never be quite the same ever again."
The decision, confirmed by WADA president Sir Craig Reedie on Thursday "subject to strict conditions", was widely condemned from leading athletes while UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) chief executive Nicole Sapstead labelled the outcome "deeply troubling for clean sport"
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Despite conceding WADA's decision "no longer represents my interests" Aggar says resigning would be "admitting defeat".
"The message sent by WADA yesterday may mean we have lost the clean sport battle on behalf of the athletes and fans, but I am determined that, through dogged determination, we will win the war and that people's faith in sport will one day rise again."
WADA's former director general David Howman believes the decision for RUSADA to be reinstated is a triumph for money over clean sport.
"I am a little disappointed, to say the least," said Howman, who ran WADA from 2003 to 2016 and is now chair of the Athletics Integrity Unit.
"This looks like they have taken the decision to deviate from a carefully put-together roadmap for entirely pragmatic reasons.
"So WADA has gone from being an organisation that cared about clean athletes to one that cares about international federations that have not been able to stage events in Russia: it's money over principle."
RUSADA was suspended after an independent WADA report carried out by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren outlined evidence of massive state-backed, systematic doping in Russian athletics.
The allegations, which Moscow has denied, led to Russia being banned from this year's Winter Olympics in South Korea - although some Russian athletes were permitted to compete under the Olympic flag.
Thursday's decision could pave the way for Russian athletes to return to competition across all sports.