WADA seeks Russia ban over doping data manipulation

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Nov 26, 2019, 03:29 PM IST
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A woman walks into the head office of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Photograph:(Reuters)

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In a 26-page report, CRC declared that RUSADA to be non-compliant after the data handed over by the tainted Moscow laboratory was found to be "neither complete nor fully authentic".

Russia could be barred from all sporting competitions including the Tokyo 2020 after a key World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) committee recommended a four-year ban on the country for manipulating laboratory data.

WADA’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC) called for the proposed sanctions which are to be approved at an Executive Committee meeting in Paris on December 9.

In a 26-page report, CRC 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".

The full disclosure of data was a key condition of Russia’s reinstatement in 2018 after a nearly three-year-long ban which was followed by the revelation of vast state-supported doping programs in the country. 

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. 

The four-year ban was one of the several "strong proposed consequences" by CRC over Russia which is to start "on the date on which the decision that Rusada is non-compliant becomes final".

If the “proposed consequences” are approved, Russia is to face a four-year ban on participation in international sporting events. Russian athletes and their personnel support may only 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 will not be allowed to host or bid to host any major sporting events. If Russia has already won a bid, the hosting rights will be transferred to another country unless "it is legally or practically impossible to do so." This could potentially threaten Saint Petersburg's staging of three games and a quarter-final for Euro 2020.

The country will also not be allowed to bid for the right to host 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, irrespective of whether the bidding takes place during or after the four year period.

Russian government officials and representatives will be banned from attending and participating in events of any signatory to World Anti Doping Code. They will also be barred from the boards, committees or any other bodies of the same. 

Russia’s flag also may not be flown at any major event staged in the four-year period.

RUSADA’s chief Yury Ganus on Tuesday said that he expected WADA to uphold the recommendations as “that’s the reality”.  

Ganus added that Russia was in urgent need of new sports management, urging  President Vladimir Putin to intervene.

"Honestly, I am waiting for the president to take an active part in this," Ganus told reporters.

“There are a lot of problems in sports here but the most difficult and tragic thing is that our athletes have become hostages of the actions of our sports officials...We need to push through real changes...We need new sports leaders,” he added. 

The recommendations are 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.