Yelena Isinbayeva will stand down as chair of RUSADA on May 31 ©Getty Images

Yelena Isinbayeva will be forced to stand down from her position as chair of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on May 31 as part of criteria laid out by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), it was announced here today.

The removal of the double Olympic pole vault champion and world record holder from her position is a key requirement outlined by WADA in order for RUSADA to be allowed to resume testing.

WADA have urged RUSADA to ensure there is an independent chairperson and to install a conflict of interest policy as part of four "immediate requirements" previously established as part of their path to recompliance.

In an update presented to the WADA Foundation Board, deputy director general Rob Koehler confirmed these had been accepted by RUSADA.

The rule regarding access to Athlete Biological Passport (ABP) samples has already been met, while RUSADA is also in the process of opening up the "closed cities" to doping control officers.

Once RUSADA has adhered to these four regulations, they will be permitted to resume testing, Koehler said.

WADA anticipate part of this could happen at a RUSADA meeting on May 31.

"The ABP has already been met and once the other three have been met, we are going to allow them to start testing," he told insidethegames.

"They’re still non-compliant but they will be given the ability to do testing under the watch of the international experts and UK Anti-Doping.

"We want the RUSADA statutes changed to ensure that it is not about the person and that it is about the independence.

"Moving forward, the chair has to be an independent person and Yelena Isinbayeva wasn’t as she was elected by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

"So she does not qualify."

The announcement was made by WADA deputy director general Rob Koehler at the Foundation Board meeting ©ITG
The announcement was made by WADA deputy director general Rob Koehler at the Foundation Board meeting ©ITG

Isinbayeva's appointment prompted fierce criticism from WADA and other officials, such as Rune Andersen, the chairperson of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Taskforce which is overseeing Russia's reinstatement into the sport.

It was seen as a key obstacle on the road to RUSADA being declared recompliant.

Isinbayeva has been a vocal critic of all Russian doping problems and has repeatedly criticised the IAAF decision to suspend the country from international competition in the wake of the Independent Commission in November 2015.

The 34-year-old was first appointed to the position in December.

WADA subsequently questioned the decision as they did not believe she was the appropriate person to lead the organisation's recovery from being declared non-compliant.

This led to a fresh RUSADA electoral process.

It was announced in March that Isinbayeva had returned to the Supervisory Board.

It was thought that WADA had accepted this decision so long as she was not eligible to run for chair, President or vice-chair.

But her re-appointment as chair was confirmed, sparking condemnation from WADA, who will see Isinbayeva's removal as a clear victory.

Koehler confirmed to insidethegames after his presentation to the Foundation Board that her public opposition played a factor in the decision to ensure she no longer served in the role.

"The Compliance Review Committee and the Athlete Committee felt that what she had done in the past did not reflect a culture change and they felt she needed to be removed from her position," he added.

WADA President Sir Craig Reedie told insidethegames that the decision was not personal towards Isinbayeva and was merely part of the process detailed in RUSADA's roadmap.

"I think Patrick Baumann was quite correct when he said that you should not personalise this," Sir Craig said.

"It clearly became something of an issue when the McLaren report came out and she made a number of very strong comments and she was then made a representative of the ROC.

"We advised them that an independent person would be better.

"We are not going to go around looking at NADOs and making personal comments."