Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The World Anti-Doping Agency voted Thursday to allow Russia to test and certify its athletes, saying the country is once again compliant with the anti-doping code.
Members of the executive committee voted 9-2 in favor of reinstating the Russia Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), during a meeting Thursday in the Seychelles in Africa.
WADA's vice president and Oceania were the only votes against Russia reacquiring the authority. Europe abstained from the vote.
The committee deliberated whether Russia had fulfilled two remaining criteria on its path to compliance -- having Russian authorities publicly accept the outcome of Dr. Richard McLaren's investigation and Moscow providing access to athlete samples and electronic data in the former Moscow Laboratory.
The WADA ultimately decided to reinstate Russian authority on the grounds that RUSADA and the Russian Ministry of Sport provide data from the former Moscow Laboratory by Dec. 31 -- and that the two entities ensure any re-analysis of samples be completed no later than June 30, 2019.
"Today, we are in a much better position," WADA President Craig Reedie said. "WADA understands that this decision will not please everybody. When cheating is as rampant and as organized as it was in Russia, as was definitively established thanks to investigations commissioned by WADA, it undermines so much of what sport stands for."
WADA also required an audit of RUSADA within four months to ensure the agency continues to abide by compliance standards.