iNADO chief executive Jorge Leyva has criticised the control of the ROC and RPC over RUSADA ©iNADO

The Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) is "deeply concerned" by the control that the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) exercise over the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), following their decision to remove Yuri Ganus as the organisation’s director general yesterday.

RUSADA’s founders - the ROC and RPC - approved a recommendation from the organisation’s Supervisory Board to dismiss Ganus yesterday.

The RUSADA Supervisory Board had made the recommendation after an audit allegedly revealed a "number of significant irregularities in the financial and economic activities" of the organisation.

ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov yesterday suggested law enforcement will be contacted regarding the alleged violations made by Ganus, which he denies.

iNADO said the dismissal of Ganus highlighted its concerns over the control of the ROC and RPC over RUSADA.

"The clean sport movement’s effectiveness rests on anti-doping organisations’ ability to maintain full independence, with no interference from sport," a statement from iNADO chief executive Jorge Leyva read.

"It is, therefore, a clear conflict of interest when sport organisations have the power to remove the head of a national anti-doping agency unopposed.

"The backbone of iNADO - and what we have consistently called for throughout this challenging period for the clean sport movement - is good governance in anti-doping.

"This episode demonstrates a lack of independence in RUSADA – independence is vital if Russian and international athletes are to hold confidence in the system.

"Sport needs credible and competent anti-doping organisations and iNADO today calls on WADA to work with the founders of RUSADA and improve its governance structure."

The dismissal of Yuri Ganus has provoked responses from across the anti-doping landscape ©Getty Images
The dismissal of Yuri Ganus has provoked responses from across the anti-doping landscape ©Getty Images

Leyva’s statement mirrored comments by WADA, with the anti-doping watchdog saying yesterday that the decision reinforced concerns raised earlier this month over the manner in which the recommendation to dismiss Ganus was reached.

WADA being satisfied that RUSADA’s independence is respected and there is no improper outside interference with its operations is among the conditions the Russian agency must meet if it is to be reinstated.

The dismissal of Ganus also coincided with the resignation of his deputy Margarita Pakhnotskaya and Sergey Khrychikov, the independent international expert member of RUSADA’s Supervisory Board.

Khrychikov, the head of the sport conventions division of the Council of Europe and secretary of the European Committee for WADA, gave a critical assessment of the decision-making process.

"I do not like the way decisions are made,” Khrychikov told the Russian state news agency TASS.

"I believe that the decisions made violate the agreements that were reached earlier in WADA when providing compliance."

The latest developments at RUSADA are expected to be reviewed by WADA’s Compliance Review Committee, with WADA saying it will continue to monitor the situation with RUSADA’s non-compliance case pending before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

RUSADA lawyer Mikhail Bukhanov has assumed Ganus’ role on a temporary basis.

A permanent replacement is expected to be named within six months.

Alexander Ivlev, head of the Supervisory Board that recommended Ganus’ dismissal, has said he hopes WADA understands the decision and that RUSADA can continue collaborate with the organisation.

A replacement for Yuri Ganus is expected to be confirmed within six months ©Getty Images
A replacement for Yuri Ganus is expected to be confirmed within six months ©Getty Images

"At the moment, I have not yet received any messages from WADA, I have not received any calls or any e-mail messages," Ivlev told TASS.

"But we hope that WADA understands the realities and the situation well, and I hope that we will continue to interact with them as good partners in the future.

"The most important thing in this whole story is that RUSADA continues to work, continues to fulfill the tasks that have been set.

"In no case should we stop, we need to develop new approaches and new concepts, move on.

"I believe that regardless of from what conditions our task is to support RUSADA's efficiency and bring it further to a qualitatively new level."

RUSADA has appealed a four-year package of sanctions imposed by WADA as punishment for the manipulation of data at the Moscow Laboratory.

Ganus, who was appointed as RUSADA director general in 2017, had warned prior to yesterday’s meeting that his sacking could potentially impact the appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Ganus oversaw WADA's controversial reinstatement of RUSADA, after it was declared non-compliant in 2015.

RUSADA was again declared non-compliant by WADA last December after the country was found to have manipulated the Moscow Laboratory data.

Among the sanctions WADA has imposed on RUSADA is a four-year ban on the Russian flag flying at the Olympic Games or any World Championships.

Russia is also set to be stripped of any World Championships it has been awarded hosting rights to.

The sanctions will not come into force until the Court of Arbitration for Sport has rendered its final decision.

Hearings in the case are set to be held between November 2 and 5.

The removal of Ganus is not expected to impact reinstatement proceedings for the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF).

The composition of the RusAF Reinstatement Commission, however, is expected to revised due to Ganus and Pakhnotskaya leaving their positions.

Both officials had participated in a virtual meeting on August 20, which sought to discuss proposals for how RusAF can instill a zero-tolerance attitude towards doping in Russia.

A roadmap detailing RusAF's plans must be submitted to World Athletics by the end of the month.