Pole vault icon Yelena Isinbayeva may remain a member of the supervisory board of Russias anti-doping agency Rusada when she steps down as its chair, a senior Russian sports official has said.
Nearly two years ago, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ruled Rusada non-compliant. During a meeting of its foundation board in Montreal on Thursday, the international body put forward key requirements that have to be fulfilled for Russia's membership to be reinstated, including a demand to replace the chair and vice chair of the Rusada supervisory board with independent candidates, reports Tass news agency.
Sergei Khrychikov, the head of the Council of Europe's Sport Conventions Division and a member of the Rusada supervisory board, told Tass: "The (WADA) requirement was not about making Isinbayeva quit, but to appoint a chair and vice chair, who would be independent from all interested parties."
"As you remember, Isinbayeva was nominated by the Olympic Committee of Russia (OCR)," he explained, adding that due to this fact WADA does not view her as an independent candidate.
"Once a new charter is adopted, she will not be allowed to be a chair or a vice chair, but she may remain a member of the supervisory council if the OCR backs her. If not, they are free to put forward another candidacy."
"However, no matter whose candidacy is put forward by the OCR, this person cannot be elected chair or vice chair. The same applies to nominees from the RPC (the Russian Paralympic Committee) or the Russian sports ministry," Khrychikov added.
According to the official, the elections of a new head of the supervisory board of Rusada are to take place in the next seven or ten days.
"Right now, we need to promptly amend the charter with regard to the conflict of interests. Then we will convene the council -- as far as I remember, this must be done within five working days under the charter."
The double Olympic pole vault champion and world record holder was appointed chair of the supervisory board of the Rusada last December. The seven-member board, which gathers once in four months, was established in late 2015 to control the activities of RUSADA and serve as the guarantor of its independence, according to the organisation's charter.
WADA Deputy Director General Rob Koehler said on Thursday that Isinbayeva is to resign by May 31.
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