sport

WADA praises RUSADA efforts

WADA chiefs believe that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency has made great progress in its approach to testing since the last Winter Olympics.

World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman said that the level of testing had "vastly increased" over the last four years and that RUSADA is now doing its job in a "professional fashion".

Howman said that more money had been invested in anti-doping and that RUSADA has changed its whole approach to the issue.

"We partnered with RUSADA, and anti-doping Norway as a mentor to RUSADA, to help get them to the status we felt they needed to reach to run a good (anti-doping) programme," said Howman.

"It's been a work in progress for the last four years.

"We have persuaded them to change their approach.

"The (Russian) sports minister has committed more money so that instead of doing the number of tests that they did in Vancouver the number being done now has vastly increased.

"The positive tests out of Russia are reasonably high. Some say that is bad. Some say it's good and proves they are doing their job properly. We think the latter. We think they are doing their job in a professional fashion."

WADA president Sir Craig Reedie said he had been encouraged by his meetings with the Russian sports minister last year ahead of the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, during which the latter had explained the extent of the current Russian testing programme.

Reedie said: "Clearly there seems to be a lot more activity and that lessons have been learned. If you look at the statistics there are most positive tests and more sanctions of their athletes. "