An email released by a German news source has left the World Anti-Doping Agency chief exposed, in what is the latest of setbacks for WADA. The email seems to seek to reassure Russia after media allegations of doping.
The email from WADA chief Craig Reedie was released in a report by German state broadcasters ARD, who also released damming evidence about widespread doping in athletics in December.
Reedie said "there are no political elements in any actions taken by WADA" and that WADA "was pressed by a number of National Anti-Doping Agencies from different parts of the world to commence an investigation into the allegations made."
In his correspondence with the anti-doping commissary, Natalia Zhelanova, Reedie expressed regret that between WADA and the Russian government "problems had arisen due to the ARD reports in December." Reedie offered his assurance to both the commissary and Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko that WADA approved of Russian efforts to combat doping.
"I wish to make it clear to you and to the minister that there is no action being taken by WADA that is critical of the efforts which I know have been made, and are being made, to improve anti-doping efforts in Russia," the email said.
Difficult for Russia
The WADA chief added that he was well "well aware that having an investigation being conducted in your country can be a difficult experience" but that "this should in no way indicate any change in the relationship which we have built up since the World Athletics Championships in Moscow." According to Reedie's own words, WADA were "pleased that these relationships have survived much of the adverse publicity caused by the ARD television programs (which is likely to continue for some time)." Reedie said he "values the relationship with Minister Mutko"and that he would be "grateful if you [Natalia Zhelanova] will inform him that there is no intention in WADA to do anything to affect that relationship."
Reedie went on to say he would be at the FIFA Congress in Zurich next month and that he'd be happy to talk in case he had any concerns.
There was further concern about a later passage when Reedie reminded Zhelanova of the following: "You will recall my efforts to ensure that there was a proper Satellite Laboratory in Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games." However, a few months before the games, a WADA commission revoked the lab's accreditation due to irregularities with the handling of the tests.