Doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov has disclosed that lifting the suspension of Russia’s anti-doping agency (Rusada) would be “catastrophic”.
The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) executive committee is expected to end a three-year suspension of Rusada when it meets on Thursday.
The move has been criticised by athletes, anti-doping bodies and Wada’s vice-president Linda Helleland.
Rusada has been suspended since 2015 over alleged state-backed doping.
Last week, Wada’s compliance review committee recommended Rusada’s reinstatement after it received assurances from the Russian sports ministry, saying the country had “sufficiently acknowledged” failures.
Rodchenkov, the former head of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory, fled Russia in late 2015 with detailed evidence of the far-reaching state-sponsored doping regime he masterminded.
His evidence led to Russia being banned from the Olympics and he has been in hiding ever since, saying he fears reprisals from the Russian state.
“It is clear that any decision by Wada to reinstate Rusada – which would then be followed by the reinstatement of the Moscow Laboratory – would be a catastrophe for Olympic sport ideals, the fight against doping and the protection of clean athletes,” he said.
The UK Anti-Doping Agency (Ukad) has joined with other leading national anti-doping organisations around the world to call for a postponement of any decision by Wada.
UK Sport chair Dame Katherine Grainger has backed Ukad’s position, adding: “What doping steals from athletes is irreplaceable and the integrity of sport and competition has to be protected to maintain public trust and support. This responsibility rests with leaders at every level.”