Olympic legend Daley Thompson slams WADA chiefs as Russia are given green light to compete

OLYMPIC legend Daley Thompson slammed anti-doping chiefs after Russia was given the green light to return to international sport.

Nine of the 12 members of the World anti-doping agency executive backed the decision to lift the ban on Russia’s doping set-up.

 Daley Thompson has slammed WADA's decision to allow Russia to compete once more

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Daley Thompson has slammed WADA's decision to allow Russia to compete once more
 Thompson, an Olympic hero, is disgusted over what this could do to the sport

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Thompson, an Olympic hero, is disgusted over what this could do to the sport

That came despite Russia still refusing to accept clear evidence of its state-sponsored doping programme or allowing full access to the main Moscow laboratory where samples were stored and switched.

Wada bosses were accused of betraying clean athletes by the Russian doctor who blew the whistle on Russia’s state-sponsored cheating programme.

And Thompson, Olympic decathlon champion in 1980 and 1984, blasted Wada chief Sir Craig Reedie and his colleagues.

Thompson, who used the Twitter hashtag “#sadday4sport” said: “So Craig Reedie got his way and let the cheats back without them even paid lip service to the sanctions.

“On behalf of those who love sport and fair play, how is this allowed to happen?”

Thompson’s voice was echoed across the sporting world at the decision taken in the Seychelles.

The wholesale scale of Russian cheating emerged after Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, former head of the Moscow lab, fled to the USA in 2015 and blew the whistle.

Rodchenkov is still under protective custody in fear for his life and his lawyer, Jim Walden, said: “Wada’s decision represents the greatest treachery against clean athletes in Olympic history.”

 Russia were originally banned for three years for doping offences in the sport

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Russia were originally banned for three years for doping offences in the sport

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Walden added that the US should withdraw its £1.73million annual funding of Wada – by far the biggest single donation by any country – describing the organisation as “impotent to address Russia’s state-sponsored doping”.

Nicole Sapstead, chief executive of UK Anti-Doping, branded the decision “deeply troubling for clean sport”.

She added: “Wada has cast aside its responsibilities to clean athletes, sports fans and those who work tirelessly for clean sport.”

While some Russian athletes had been cleared to compete as individuals, they had to use a neutral flag at this year’s Winter Olympics in Korea.

Russia had been offered a “roadmap” to reinstatement of its own anti-doping programme, a requirement for it to host international events.

But despite refusing to accept clear evidence of its state-sponsored doping programme or allowing full access to the main Moscow laboratory where samples were stored and switched, Wada, under pressure from Olympic chiefs, backed their return.

 Brit and WADA president Craig Reedie oversaw the overruling of the ban

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Brit and WADA president Craig Reedie oversaw the overruling of the ban
 Russia competed in the Winter Olympics earlier this year, but can now compete fully at all events

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Russia competed in the Winter Olympics earlier this year, but can now compete fully at all events

Reedie, who broke a 5-5 initial tie on a vote to put the decision off for two months, confirmed “the great majority” of the Wada board had backed the decision “subject to strict conditions”.

He added: “This decision provides a clear timeline by which Wada must be given access to the former Moscow laboratory data and samples.

“Should this timeline not be met, we will support the recommendation to reinstate non-compliance.”

But US anti-doping agency head Travis Tygart said: “This decision is bewildering and inexplicable.

“Wada has ignored the rights of millions of clean athletes and the dreams of billions of sports fans.

“The world’s athletes want the International Olympic Committee to stay well away from Wada until it is reformed and listens to the clean athletes who are speaking out.”

UK Sport said in a statement: “We are disappointed in the decision taken by the WADA Executive Committee. We call on WADA to fully and transparently explain how it came to the compromise of reinstating Russia – and how it will ensure that the new conditions are fully met and implemented. A strong WADA and a unified anti-doping community are vital to the integrity of sport and to ensure public trust and support is maintained.”

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OLYMPIC legend Daley Thompson slammed anti-doping chiefs after Russia was given the green light to return to international sport.