Russian Federation protests anti-doping agency's ban

Tanya Simon
December 13, 2019

The World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) decision to ban Russia from major sporting events was widely protested by Russian officials on Monday.

The ban comes after Russia's Anti-Doping Agency was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to an investigation in January 2019, the BBC reported.

As a result, the Russian Federation flag and anthem is now set to be refused at events such as Tokyo 2020, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and the World Athletics Championships.

RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the suspension, which would see its case referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Russian team will, however, be free to participate at Euro 2020, as UEFA's tournament is not defined as a "major event organisation" in relation to anti-doping breaches, report the BBC.

It led to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) being suspended for almost three years previously over revelations of a vast state-supported doping programme.

"Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial", he said.

The president noted that Russia's national olympic committee has not been implicated in WADA's findings, which means that the agency's decision to ban athletes from competing under the Russian flag violated Olympics charter.

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The scandal has tainted Russia's sporting reputation since the revelation of large-scale state-sponsored doping aimed at improving its medal performance at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Athletes from the country will be forced to compete as neutrals at a host of global competitions, including the Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, provided they can prove they were not part of the doping scandal.

Kolobkov said the WADA has no complaints about today's Russian anti-doping system, adding its allegations are related to the period of time when Russian anti-doping system was headed by Grigory Rodchenkov, who fled to the 2016 and there he accused Russia of organizing a regular system of doping violations.

"The contract for holding the Russian round of the Formula 1 World Championship was signed in 2010, long before the events investigated by Wada, and runs until 2025", a ROSGONKI statement said.

This will be the third consecutive Olympics with Russians competing under a cloud of doping accusations.

"We must now ensure that Russian athletes competing as individuals are subjected to the most stringent of anti-doping processes to restore confidence in world sport".

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, branded the punishment a symptom of "anti-Russian hysteria".

In response Rusada [Russia's Anti-Doping Agency] chief Yury Ganus told AFP that his country had "no chance" of winning an appeal against the ban and called it a "tragedy" for clean athletes. It's important to understand that ordinary Russian people want to be proud of fair champions.

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