At board meetings in coming days, top executives from skiing and biathlon are expected to discuss Russia’s doping scandal and the implications of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision, which had been anticipated in recent days, after global regulators obtained new evidence withheld by Russia: a database containing years of drug-test results from Moscow.
Russia’s Paralympic team and its track and field team are both barred from global competition until the nation’s antidoping agency is recertified, making WADA’s decision a blow with definitive consequences.
“WADA compliance is clearly one of the reinstatement criteria,” a spokeswoman for the International Association of Athletics Federations said Wednesday, noting track and field officials were due to discuss Russia’s doping scandal at a meeting on Nov. 26.
The International Paralympic Committee — which barred Russia from the 2016 Summer Games — has been similarly firm, with its board restating in September its requirement that Russia comply with the global antidoping code. Paralympic officials are due to meet on Dec. 4 to discuss the matter, and an official announcement about Russia’s eligibility for the Paralympics is expected on Dec. 22.
The International Olympic Committee is preparing to announce sanctions against Russia during its executive board meetings, which begin on Dec. 5, little more than 60 days before the Games begin. Among the penalties officials are considering are barring the country’s national anthem from playing at the Games and keeping its delegation of athletes out of the opening ceremony.
Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, said in an interview with The New York Times on Tuesday that he was unaware the Paralympic Committee was requiring Russia to be cleared by antidoping regulators, and he suggested he saw no problem with allowing the nation to compete even as it is deemed uncooperative by the global watchdog.
“I think everybody would like to see RUSADA working at full speed so that the Russian athletes can be tested,” Mr. Bach said, using the acronym for Russia’s antidoping agency. “The past has to be sanctioned. The question now is about the future, and these are two different things.”
Margarita Pakhnotskaya, a deputy director general for Russia’s antidoping agency, said in an email Wednesday that the “RUSADA team is working hard in all functional areas of the agency,” adding that the staff “now are working with the corrective actions.”
Russia’s antidoping agency has been considered noncompliant since 2015, when global authorities first accused the country of coordinated cheating. In the wake of a tell-all account from the former head of Russia’s national antidoping lab, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the scope of the scandal broadened drastically, causing more than 100 Russian athletes to be barred from competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics. The antidoping regulator itself called for Olympics officials to exclude the entire nation from those Games.
“We really have done everything possible for RUSADA to retrieve its status,” Mr. Kolobkov, the sports minister, told the R-Sport news agency in recent days, striking the same defiant tone he did in Seoul, where he was accompanied by Alexander Zhukov, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee.
Among the requirements that antidoping authorities have made of Russia is that the nation provide access to urine samples stored in its national lab in Moscow. Russia has refused, citing its own criminal investigation relating to those samples.
Russia’s continued noncompliance could affect its ability to host global competitions, at which the host nation is typically in charge of drug-testing all athletes. Three major global biathlon events are due to take place in Russia immediately after the Winter Olympics, in spite of the fact that the International Olympic Committee directed sports officials to halt their preparations for competitions there or relocate them, as sports like bobsled and skeleton have done.
Dr. Rodchenkov, the whistle-blower now living in the United States, told The New York Times in May 2016 that Russia’s sports officials saw it as an opportunity to control drug-testing at international competitions. Yuri D. Nagornykh, the deputy sports minister who was also a member of Russia’s Olympic Committee, suggested to Dr. Rodchenkov that he contaminate competitors’ urine samples with false drug violations — something Dr. Rodchenkov did not do, he said.
The foundation board that made the decision on Thursday in Seoul included representatives of national governments, among them the sports ministers of Bulgaria, Canada and Namibia, as well as an American official from the White House Drug Policy Office. The group also consisted of global sports officials, including the top officials of archery and wrestling, as well as Olympians from Britain, France and Zimbabwe.