WADA appoint Nicholson to lead Russia doping project


Former war crimes investigator Peter Nicholson is one of two international experts recruited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to help Russia reform its anti-doping program.

The IAAF suspended Russian athletes from competition last November after the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was declared non-compliant by WADA following allegations of state-sponsored doping.

Russia last week approved a new anti-doping disciplinary panel and the Russian Ministry of Sport announced that two WADA-nominated independent international experts will work on anti-doping operations in Moscow on a full-time basis.

WADA confirmed on Monday that Australian Nicholson, part of the 2015 Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC), will lead the project to restore RUSADA's credibility and has started work immediately in a two-year mandate.

Nicholson, who specialises in international criminal investigations, will be joined by Ieva Lukosiute-Stanikuniene, director of the Lithuanian Anti-Doping Agency and a Council of Europe official, on May 25.

"Engaging Peter Nicholson and Ieva Lukosiute-Stanikuniene is a critical step on the road to recovery for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA)," said WADA president Craig Reedie.

"WADA is pleased that they have accepted the challenge of helping rebuild the agency.

"Appointing the experts was a central part of the agreed "road map", and it is a vital step forward in ensuring that athlete and public trust returns to the Russian anti-doping system and Russian sport."

WADA also confirmed the appointment of Sergey Khrychkov to a newly-formed RUSADA board.

The IAAF confirmed its next council meeting will be held on June 17, when Russian athletes are set to learn if RUSADA has been deemed compliant to enable them to compete in the Rio Olympic Games.