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  • Russia to Appeal WADA Ban


    (ATR) The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) will be appealing a four-year ban preventing Russian athletes from participating under their flag at major international competitions.
    RUSADA wants to appeal to CAS. (Getty Images)

    RUSADA’s Supervisory Board met on Thursday, 10 days after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee unanimously accepted a recommendation from its Compliance Review Committee to ban Russia for manipulating and falsifying doping data from RUSADA’s Moscow laboratory.

    “RUSADA Supervisory Board members have decided to disagree with WADA’s decision,” the chair of the panel Alexander Ivlev said, as quoted by RT.

    “We will present our recommendations to RUSADA Executive Board before filing a disagreement letter on behalf of the RUSADA chief. It will be done within 10-15 days. Then the ball will be on WADA’s side and we will continue our dialogue within the legal framework.”

    In its decision 10 days ago, WADA gave Russian officials 21 days to appeal the verdict to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

    In addition to Russian athletes being banned from competing at the next two Olympics and other major international competitions, WADA also barred Russian government and sports officials from attending these events. During the four year period, Russia would not be allowed to bid for major sporting events including the 2032 Olympics. Russia would be stripped of any hosting duties that have already been awarded, unless doing so is “legally or practically impossible”.

    Russia athletes who can prove to WADA’s satisfaction that they are clean will be eligible to compete as independent athletes under a neutral flag as was the case at PyeongChang 2018.

    RUSADA was previously suspended for what has been determined as a vast state-supported doping system revealed in a 2015 WADA-commissioned report.

    Vladimir Putin at his annual press conference (Getty Images)
    Russia was reinstated by WADA in September 2018 with one of the conditions being full disclosure of doping data from the Moscow lab.

    Russia President Vladimir Putin, who called for an appeal after the ban was announced, described the WADA decision as “not just unfair but not corresponding to common sense and law” during his annual news conference on Thursday.

    United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) CEO Travis Tygart, who was among those who criticized WADA for not imposing a complete ban on Russia, expected Thursday’s decision by RUSADA.

    “It’s no surprise Russia has appealed even the light consequences imposed on its proven state-sponsored doping system and cover up, as they have failed to ever take responsibility for these sporting crimes and have shown they will stop at nothing to escape penalty,” Tygart said.

    Tygart called on CAS to “take decisive action that puts in place a complete ban, which is allowed for and proportional to the intentional fraud, deception, and destruction of clean athletes and the Olympic values seen here.”

    Written by Gerard Farek

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