WADA's primary role is to develop, harmonize and coordinate anti-doping rules and policies across all sports and countries

Sergei Naryshkin, the director of Russia's foreign intelligence service, accused the "West" through his press office of trying to disrupt upcoming international sporting events in Russia.

"The US administration is deeply concerned that its campaign to isolate Russia from elite sport is faltering. International sports federations are increasingly reluctant to consider the White House's position on the participation of Russians in competitions. 'Too many' countries from the Global South have expressed a desire to take part in the Future Games, the BRICS Sports Games and the World Friendship Games, which Russia is organising this year," Naryshkin stated.

The Russian intelligence chief believes that WADA will be the main instrument to undermine sports competitions in Russia. "In this situation, the US administration is intensifying its efforts to disrupt upcoming sporting events in the Russian Federation. Its main hope in this regard is the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and its president, Witold Banka. The Americans believe that Banka is interested in successfully continuing his career after his term at WADA expires in 2025 and will serve as their 'watchdog' to secure a 'warm place,'" Naryshkin added.

Naryshkin doubts the success of WADA's policy. "Banka's desperate fight against Russia is already beginning to produce exactly the opposite results. Banka's openly pro-American activities, which are detrimental to the development of world sport, are causing increasing irritation in professional circles. Tired of the politicisation of world sport, states are seeking to strengthen the sovereignty of sport, including in the formulation of national anti-doping legislation."

The Russian intelligence officer's statements were made in response to statements made by WADA in November 2023.

Following a meeting of the WADA Executive Committee, Director General Olivier Niggli expressed reservations about the Friendship Games, a multi-sport event to be held in Russia in September 2024. "WADA has significant concerns about this from an anti-doping perspective. We have no information as to what kind of anti-doping programme, if any, will be in place during this event or which body will implement such a programme, given that RUSADA is still not in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. According to the Code, an international event such as this should not be awarded to a country whose national anti-doping organisation is non-compliant, so how can athletes be confident that they will be competing in a safe and fair environment?

At the same time, it should be noted that the Russians must address the difficult issue of how to support anti-doping at the international competitions scheduled to take place in Russia in 2024. It is clear that WADA will not support these events and may even interfere. Meanwhile, RUSADA, the Russian anti-doping organisation, has long been found to be non-compliant with the requirements of the WADA Code. This has led to various restrictions. In the current situation, it is really difficult to ensure anti-doping control in Russia that meets all the standards of the WADA Code.

Last November, WADA filed a new case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against RUSADA for failure to comply with the requirements of the WADA Code, which could have further serious consequences for Russian sport.