Sir Craig Reedie spoke extensively on Russia on the opening day of the WADA Symposium ©Getty Images

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President Sir Craig Reedie has urged Russian authorities to adopt "wise counsel" and make the relatively straightforward changes necessary to allow the country to be declared re-compliant with their rules.

He also made clear how new compliance rules coming into operation on April 1 will have no impact on the ongoing Russian situation in a legal sense because it only applies for future cases rather than pre-existing ones.

This means all sporting bodies are legally free to continue awarding events to Russia, although the World Anti-Doping Code still urges them against doing so as far as World Championships are concerned.

It came after an opening day of the WADA Symposium here in which officials have insisted over and over again how they will not budge on ensuring Russia fulfill the two remaining criteria necessary for Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) re-compliance.

These concern an acceptance of the McLaren Report conclusion that an "institutional doping" regime was operated at events including the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics as well as the opening-up of the Moscow Laboratory for the analysis of samples and electronic data.

Sir Craig adopted more conciliatory language than some in suggesting that no major concessions would be required on the part of Russian authorities.

"Semantics and words matter in this issue [McLaren Report acceptance]," he told insidethegames.

"We have had, I would have thought, off the top of my head, seven or eight different drafts which have changed over the years from Russian authorities.

"That is now in the hands of the Russian authorities and I look forward to their reaction.

"I think the big difference now is that we are post-Pyeongchang.

"The Russian Olympic Committee has been sanctioned [by the International Olympic Committee in a suspension lifted three days after the Closing Ceremony]. 

"People may like the sanction or not like the sanction but the hard facts of the matter are the IOC did sanction the only organisation they could sanction which is the National Olympic Committee in Russia.

"Much work was done on pre-Games tests so a very large number of [neutral] Olympic Athletes from Russia took part in the Games.

"We've gone through a whole series of CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) appeals one way or another.

"I think it is now the time that, perhaps, wise counsel will now bring about a successful resolution of this particular issue."

Sir Craig Reedie, right, pictured with RUSADA director general Yury Ganus ©Getty Images
Sir Craig Reedie, right, pictured with RUSADA director general Yury Ganus ©Getty Images

RUSADA is still operational as an active body despite its non-compliant status.

There is a practical consequence of its suspension remaining, though, because neither the International Association of Athletics Federations nor the International Paralympic Committee can lift their respective bans on Russia until it happens.

Sir Craig also said today that four requests to jointly inspect the Moscow Laboratory in conjunction with officials from a Russian Investigative Committee had been ignored.

Improvements were cited on other areas, though, including the opening up of previous closed cities for testing.

There was also a feeling that the problem lies not with RUSADA, who are now being more cooperative, but with officials higher up the food chain.

RUSADA director general Yury Ganus was present today and repeatedly cut an increasingly frustrated figure as he was forced to insist over and over again that a decision on the two remaining criteria was not up to him.

"It does not depend on us," he pleaded.

"Please understand us, we all do our best. 

"This is a question for state officials."

The term "state" had a far more direct meaning in Russia than in other countries, referring directly to the Kremlin and administration of freshly re-elected Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"It is a question of negotiation," Ganus added. 

"From one hand, it is a procedural question. 

"It's part of a criminal investigation, so it's not a question of the Minister of Sport but for the Investigative Committee of Russian Federation [which reports to the Kremlin]. 

"We have to find a solution on this area."

He also suggested "dividing" the McLaren Report to find specific areas that are prepared to accept, although WADA officials gave no indication they would be prepared to accept this.

Russian figures will be relieved, though, that the new compliance rules which allow WADA to sanction governing bodies and National Olympic Committees do not appeal to rule out events being awarded to the country, as many had believed to be the case.

WADA will not be threatening events such as this year's FIFA World Cup in Russia, and will also not legally oppose future events being awarded there ©Getty Images
WADA will not be threatening events such as this year's FIFA World Cup in Russia, and will also not legally oppose future events being awarded there ©Getty Images

"The problem is that the application of the new compliance standard, we are advised by our own legal advisor, cannot be made retrospectively," Sir Craig told insidethegames.

"So it cannot comply with a non-compliant situation which existed before the first of April. 

"If, for example, on April 2 we have resolved all of the issues with Russia and then they are non-compliant for a different reason, then it would apply.

"Going forward, if we get to a situation where a country is non-compliant, that would involve a ‘critical non-compliance with aggravating circumstances’...

"And if they were declared non-compliant by the CAS [who are responsible for administering sanctions] then they wouldn’t take part in future major events."

The existing World Anti-Doping Code does still, though, urge IFs to "do everything possible" to award World Championships only to countries when the NOC, National Paralympic Committee and NADO are in compliance with the Code.

WADA therefore still oppose Tyumen in Russia remaining host of this week's International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup Finals, but only on moral rather than legal grounds.

Athletes from countries including Great Britain, Canada, the Czech Republic, the United States and Ukraine are boycotting the event.

IBU President Anders Besseberg is also a WADA Foundation Board member.

"We don’t think it is a great message, for sure, but it is not against the Code per se," said WADA director general Olivier Niggli.

"The reaction from their own athletes should hopefully make them think about this decision."