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WADA Concerned By Russia Funding Claims

15:18 20.03.2013

Olympic Games 2014
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MOSCOW, March 20 (R-Sport) - The World Anti-Doping Agency told R-Sport on Wednesday it is concerned by comments from the Russian government appearing to link extra funding for WADA with influence over staff appointments.

Russia will contribute an extra €300,000 ($390,000) a year to WADA, which the government said last week would “make it possible to strengthen the position of the Russian Federation in WADA, including the expansion of Russian representation in the management and working bodies.”

The government statement said the donation was made in light of next year’s Winter Olympics, which will be held in Russia for the first time, and where WADA will oversee doping tests.

“The press release concerns us and we do not wish any contribution to our annual expenses to be tagged in that manner,” WADA communications director Julie Masse said.

“We await formal communication from Russia accordingly.”

Masse said the Russian government had notified WADA last year it would send the extra funds and had not asked for anything in return.

“There were no conditions contained in that letter,” she said.

The extra payment will take Russia’s funding for WADA to $1.1 million annually. It is financed by a corresponding cut in Russian contributions to the UNESCO Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport, which mostly finances anti-doping efforts in developing countries.

The past year has seen many high-profile doping cases involving Russian athletes.

London 2012 discus silver medalist Darya Pishchalnikova is provisionally suspended after testing positive for a banned substance, while track cyclist Viktoria Baranova was expelled from the games for taking artificial testosterone, which she confessed to.

Earlier this month, two Russian athletes were caught doping following retests of samples from the 2005 world athletics championships.

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