Wada: Unity will be our strength against doping - Sir Craig Reedie

Sir Craig Reedie
Sir Craig Reedie will stand down as Wada leader in November 2019

The World Anti-Doping Agency president says "unity will be our strength" after criticisms of the organisation's response to the Russian doping scandal.

Wada lifted a three-year suspension of Russia's anti-doping agency Rusada in September 2018.

Leading athletes and anti-doping bodies had opposed the move.

Sir Craig Reedie said on Wednesday that the decision had not been easy, adding: "Division helps nobody except those who are trying to cheat."

Callum Skinner, who won individual cycling silver for Great Britain at the Rio Olympics in 2016, said Wada were "brushing Russian doping under the rug".

He later became a leader of Global Athlete - an organisation set up to push for enhanced rights for athletes - and retired from elite cycling at the start of March.

Speaking at Wada's annual symposium, Reedie said the decision to reinstate Russia was correct because it "removed an impasse that suited Russia better than it suited Wada, athletes of the world and rest of the global anti-doping community".

He added that there is a "credible" anti-doping agency in the country and leaving the situation in limbo "served nobody".

"While we may disagree on various points or on how best to deal with the challenges we face, we are all closely aligned in our desire to keep doping out of sport," he said.

"Partners must work together and with respect in order to achieve that.

"I also call on you all never to take your eyes off the goal of clean sport and to stand strong against those who would endeavour to bring down the global anti-doping system."

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