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Investigators Appointed to Rebuild Russian Anti-Doping Agency

The World Anti-Doping Agency has appointed two international experts to to help the troubled Russian Anti-Doping Agency and to rebuild the country's anti-doping program, WADA said in a statement published Monday.

Australian Peter Nicholson specializes in international criminal investigations and has worked for the United Nations and the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA), an organization investigating war crimes in Syria and Iraq.

He was part of the 2015 Cycling Independent Reform Commission and will work jointly with Ieva Lukosuite-Stanikuiene, the director of the Lithuanian Anti-Doping Agency and Sergei Khrychkov, a Council of Europe official, to help restore confidence in Russia's anti-doping system. Krychkov has been appointed by WADA to the newly-formed RUSADA board, the official statement said.

Nicholson, who was part of a three-member independent commission that delivered a report on systematic doping to the International Cycling Union last year, has already begun his two-year stint to help reform RUSADA, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

WADA said the appointments were a crucial step on the road to recovery for RUSADA and that the main task would to ensure that the organization “acts fully independently and without external interference.” WADA President Sir Craig Reedie said that move is a central part of the agreed “road map,” adding that “it is a vital step forward in ensuring that athlete and public trust returns to the Russian anti-doping system and Russian sport.”

RUSADA and a drug-testing lab were suspended in November following a WADA-led investigation, which produced evidence of widespread doping in Russian track and field.

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