Moscow had been expected to submit an annual contribution to WADA of more than $1.2 million Russian flag is seen behind as World Anti-Doping Agency logo is displayed on a smart phone screenin this illustration photo in Ankara on December 9, 2019 © Getty Images / Aytac Unal/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russia is not currently obligated to make annual payments to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) after Moscow terminated its membership in the Council of Europe last year, the Sports Ministry has told TASS.

Reports recently emerged that Russia had not paid a planned contribution of around $1.25 million to WADA for 2023. Responding on Thursday, the Sports Ministry’s press service told TASS that Russia “supports the principle of equal financing of the main annual budget for the World Anti-Doping Agency.” It added, however, that “currently, there is no common formula for WADA funding approved by the states.”

European signatories to the WADA Code pay into the fund based upon how much they contribute annually to the Council of Europe budget.

Russia terminated its membership in the council in March 2022 following the onset of the conflict with Ukraine. According to the Sports Ministry, a mechanism for WADA contributions has yet to be worked out for nations “that are not members of continental organizations, in particular, the Council of Europe.”

Global anti-doping agency accused of ‘blackmailing’ Olympic host – AFP Global anti-doping agency accused of ‘blackmailing’ Olympic host – AFP

Read more

Global anti-doping agency accused of ‘blackmailing’ Olympic host – AFP

The ministry also told TASS it had raised the issue of WADA financing to members of the International Convention of Doping in Sport, where it recommended that a unanimous approach be taken on the funding of anti-doping programs. The topic is expected to be discussed at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) convention in Paris in October.

The Russian Sports Ministry added that it would pay an annual contribution to the WADA fund only under these terms.

Russia is one of eight countries expected to pay WADA in excess of $1 million annually, TASS said. Along with the UK, Germany, Italy, and France, it was expected to pay $1.26 million for 2023, according to WADA directives.

The US ($3.4 million), Canada ($1.7 million), and Japan ($1.5 million) are the three highest funders of the anti-doping program. With the exception of Russia, each of the countries has submitted its payment for 2023, TASS reported.

In 2019, WADA banned Russia from competing in all major sporting events, including the Olympic Games, following an investigation into claims of widespread anti-doping violations. Russia has consistently denied the allegations, and the ban was subsequently reduced to two years upon appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). (RT)