Isinbayeva to leave WADA post as Russia's anti-doping agency chair
Yelena Isinbayeva will leave her position as chair of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) supervisory board, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Russian double Olympic pole vault champion Isinbayeva took up the role in March, upon nomination from the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), although her appointment was met with some opposition.
During a WADA meeting in Montreal, Canada, on Thursday, Wada’s Compliance and Review Committee chair Rob Koehler said the vital restoration of RUSADA hinged on four main criteria, one being the removal of Isinbayeva.
The 34-year-old was not mentioned by name by the organization, but after references to opposition within the body to her appointment, Koehler said: “As of 31 May, the person will be gone,” the BBC reported.
WADA also announced plans to introduce new powers that will allow the body to ban individual national Olympic committees and international sport federations that fail to meet its rules.
In the wake of the Russian doping scandal, in November 2015, WADA suspended RUSADA from carrying out doping control within the country, but later provided it with a “road map to re-compliance.”
One of the key points for mentioned for restoring RUSADA’s credibility involved the work of international experts in the agency.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was quoted in Russian media as saying on Friday morning that Isinbayeva would leave her position, while emphasizing the stated criteria was not an attack on Russia.
“This criteria is not aimed against Yelena, rather it is aimed at establishing independence of RUSADA,” Mutko said, R-Sport reported.
After setting 28 world records, collecting two Olympic gold medals (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008) and one bronze medal (London 2012), Isinbayeva announced her retirement from professional sports last August during the Rio Olympics.
Isinbayeva was barred from competing in Rio due to a blanket ban imposed on Russia’s track and field team over allegations of state-sponsored doping.