'No chance' of winning WADA ban appeal: Russian anti-doping chief

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Dec 09, 2019, 06.55 PM(IST)

'No chance' of winning ban appeal: Russia anti-doping chief Photograph:( Reuters )

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RUSADA's supervisory board is set to meet on December 19 to take a decision on whether to appeal the ban

Russia's anti-doping agency chief on Monday said that his country has ''no chance'' of winning an appeal against a four-year international sporting ban.

"There is no chance of winning this case in court," RUSADA chief Yury Ganus told AFP after the World Anti-Doping Agency imposed the ban that will rule Russia out of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The ban decision was taken by WADA's executive committee after the Compliance Review Committee (CRC) called for the proposed sanctions in a 26-page report. 

RUSADA's supervisory board is set to meet on December 19 to take a decision on whether to appeal the ban, he said.

"This is a tragedy," he said. "Clean athletes are seeing their rights limited."

Ganus said that some Russian athletes were contemplating leaving Russia so that they could train elsewhere.

He described the sentiments among athletes as "awful," stressing that four years for a sportsman is a long time in what can be a short career.

Earlier Monday WADA's executive committee, meeting in Lausanne, decided that Russia be handed a four-year suspension after accusing Moscow of falsifying laboratory data.

"The full list of recommendations have been unanimously accepted," said WADA spokesperson James Fitzgerald. 

"WADA's executive committee approved unanimously to assert a non-compliance on the Russian anti-doping agency for a period of four years," he added.

Russian athletes have already faced a series of bans over the last few years and were forced to participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games as neutral competitors.

The heads of several Russian sports federations said they were preparing to send athletes to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under a neutral flag.

Russia's swimming federation's head, Vladimir Salnikov, said the country's athletes "must go to the Olympics whatever the situation."

"Of course we'd prefer that our athletes participate under the Russian flag and hear their national anthem. But the circumstances may be different... (and) no-one has the right to deprive innocent athletes of their dreams," he told state news agency RIA Novosti.

"If (participating under a neutral flag) is the only possibility, we must go and win. Our clean athletes, I am sure, will show that they are strong, even in these circumstances," said the head of the waterpolo, diving and synchronised swimming federation, Alexei Vlasenko.

CRC had earlier declared the Russian Anti Doping Agency (RUSADA) to be non-compliant after the data handed over by the tainted Moscow laboratory was found to be "neither complete nor fully authentic".

(With inputs from Reuters)