The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will decide whether to reinstate scandal-hit Russia today after explosive doping revelations put a question mark over its participation in next year's Winter Olympics. Less than three months before the Games in Pyeongchang, a green light from WADA would be a huge plus for Russia as it fights to avoid a possible ban from the event by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Russia was declared "non-compliant" by WADA after the McLaren report alleged state-sponsored doping from 2011 to 2015, culminating at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, where the hosts topped the medals table. Russia's secret service and sports ministry were accused of orchestrating an elaborate plot that included using a "mouse hole" to switch dirty samples at the doping laboratory in the Black Sea resort. Last week, WADA said it had obtained an "enormous" internal database of Russian drug test results from 2012-2015, findings from which are expected to be reported to today's foundation board meeting in Seoul. Ripples from the controversy have spread wide after President Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. of inventing drugs allegations to influence next year's presidential election.
"In response to our alleged interference in their election, they want to create problems for the election of the president of Russia," Putin said last week.
"Russia never had and, I hope, will never have a system of state doping of which we are being accused," he said. The Olympic body is expected to announce Russia's fate at an executive board meeting in December in Lausanne, where it will hear the results of two investigations into Russian doping.
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