Russia to appeal against WADA's four year doping ban

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Dec 19, 2019, 04.23 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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Russia’s participation was banned from all major sporting events including Tokyo 2020 after WADA ruled to punish the country for manipulating laboratory data on December 9. 

Russia's anti-doping agency (RUSADA) on Thursday announced that is to appeal the four-year doping ban imposed on Russia’s participation in all major sporting events including Tokyo 2020 after World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ruled to punish the country for manipulating laboratory data on December 9. 

RUSADA supervisory board chairman Alexander Ivlev announced the decision that it disagreed with WADA’s sanctions which bars the country from competing under its flag, the anthem or colours and is to now refer the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), Russia’s news agency TASS reported. 

"RUSADA will appeal against the WADA decision within 10 to 15 days," Ivlev said. 

After a meeting of the supervisory board, RUSADA formally rejected the prohibition as it was earlier denounced by Russia’s leadership including President Vladimir Putin as being “politically motivated” and contradictory to the Olympic Charter. 

RUSADA announcement is to coincide with Putin’s annual marathon press conference where he restated his stance on the issue, saying that Russian athletes should be allowed to compete under the Russian flag.

"If WADA does not have any issues with our national Olympic committee our team must compete under its flag," Putin said during an annual end-of-year news conference, insisting that most of Russia's athletes were clean.

"Any punishment should be individual," he added.

"If a majority of our athletes are clean how is it possible to slap sanctions against them for someone else's actions?"

WADA’s executive committee unanimously issued a ban against Russia after its Compliance Review Committee (CRC) called for the proposed sanctions in a 26-page report declaring RUSADA to be non-compliant after the data handed over by the tainted Moscow laboratory was found to be "neither complete nor fully authentic".

The historical data which was handed over to WADA in January was found to have “several aggravating features” as hundreds of analytical findings had been removed and raw data and PDF files were found to be deleted. 

Russia is currently facing a four-year ban on participation in international sporting events. Russian athletes and their personnel support are only to be allowed to participate if they can prove that they are not associated with the Russian doping scandal, even then they will not be allowed to represent the Russian Federation.

Russia is also not be allowed to host or bid to host any major sporting events. If Russia had already won a bid, the hosting rights are to be transferred to another country unless "it is legally or practically impossible to do so." The ban has threatened Saint Petersburg's staging of three games and a quarter-final for Euro 2020.

The appeal is the latest in Russia’s doping saga which is being dragged since 2015 which found more than 1000 Russian athletes being benefited from the state-supported doping program in the period of 2011-2015, a period that included 2014 winter Olympics that were held in Russia.