(ATR) The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is moving its December 9 extraordinary Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting from Paris to Lausanne.
The meeting, where the ExCo will consider the recommendation of WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) concerning the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA’s) non-compliance, is being relocated “due to likely disruptions and uncertainty caused by imminent general strike action in Paris”, according to WADA.
The CRC, citing manipulated data supplied to WADA by Russia earlier this year, is recommending that Russian athletes be banned from competing at the Olympics or any other major event of a WADA signatory for the next four years, unless cleared to participate as a neutral athlete.
Outside of the Olympics, Russian athletes will also only be allowed to compete at major events of WADA signatories as neutral athletes.
Other recommendations include Russia being banned from bidding on any major sport events involving WADA signatories and relinquishing any major events on the calendar already across the four-year window of sanctions.
Russian government officials would be banned from attending the Olympics and other events under the proposed penalties from WADA. The sanctions would also ban officials from the Russian Olympic Committee from the Olympics.
Russia also would pay a fine of up to $100,000.
Changes to the recommendations are possible at the WADA meeting on Monday. Any sanctions approved by the anti-doping agency would be subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. That process would likely be finished in the first half of 2020, the sanctions going into effect if the appeal is unsuccessful.
Should the four-year banishment take effect, the 2024 Olympics in Paris could be the first to mark the return of a proper team from the Russian federation since the Sochi 2014 Winter Games. The doping scandal that is striking Russian sport had its genesis in 2014 when a whistleblower exposed the alteration and falsification of drug tests for Russian athletes competing in Sochi.
Outgoing WADA President Craig Reedie, whose term ends on December 31, will chair the ExCo meeting in Lausanne. Both he and his successor Witold Banka are among those scheduled to brief the media shortly after the meeting ends.
Written by Gerard Farek and Ed Hula
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