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Canadian Olympian calls the WADA decision “a sad day for clean sport”

Evan Dunfee says, "This is a sad day for clean sport, bringing the very notion into disrepute."

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Canadian racewalker Evan Dunfee has joined the growing numbers of athletes who have spoken out after WADA voted this morning to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). The decision followed Russia’s three-year ban from international competition for suspected state-sponsored doping. 

Dunfee said via email on Thursday, “This is a sad day for clean sport, bringing the very notion into disrepute. WADA has shown that they will easily bow to the will of political pressure rather than standing up for the athletes they are supposed to protect.”

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The vote was nine to two in favour of reinstatement, with one abstention. Dunfee continues, “I commend the two council members who refused to bow to this pressure. There was a clear roadmap set out for granting RUSADA reinstatement provided they comply with conditions, and had those final two criteria been met, without question it is time to bring Russia back to the playing field. But without those two crucial criteria being met, it is hard to imagine a changed Russia coming back.”

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Dunfee emphasizes that this decision is bigger than elite competition. “When I go into schools and talk to kids and try to instill the values of sport, the same values the Olympics are supposed to stand for, in the face of decisions like this it’s hard. I feel like a fraud. Decisions like this one negate the hard work, dedication and inspiration clean athletes exude, and send a message that cheating and lying will be tolerated.”

Evan Dunfee
Photo: Rich Lam/RUNVAN

For now Dunfee says that he will focus on “individual pursuit, being the best role model I can be, and defining my success not by my objective results but by my efforts to be the best I can be.”