Russia officially challenges four year doping ban

WION Web Team Moscow, Russia Dec 27, 2019, 05.30 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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The Russian Anti-Doping Agency in a letter to WADA sent a notice of disagreement for the sanctions, RUSADA director general Yury Ganus told reporters in Moscow. 

By: Mallika Singh

Russia on Friday formally contested the four-year doping ban imposed on the country’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. 

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency in a letter to WADA sent a notice of disagreement for the sanctions, RUSADA director general Yury Ganus told reporters in Moscow. 

"In accordance with established procedure, today we have sent a package of documents to WADA," said Ganus. 

"The package contains a notice about disagreement with WADA sanctions."

Russia on December 19 had announced its decision to appeal against the imposed ban that bars Russian athletes from competing under the Russian flag.

"RUSADA will appeal against the WADA decision within 10 to 15 days," RUSADA supervisory board chairman Alexander Ivlev had declared. 

Ganus also sent the anti-doping agency a letter citing his personal stance on the matter. 

"I regret to inform you that all my attempts including attempts to introduce changes to the RUSADA notice have failed," said the letter.

Russia’s leadership including President Vladimir Putin as being “politically motivated” and contradictory to the Olympic Charter. 

"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.

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

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".

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.