The FairSport organisation is correct in that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) erred in upholding the appeal against a lifetime ban from the Olympic Games of Russian Minister Vitaly Mutko.
For governing bodies to continue to make in-roads into the war against doping cases like Mutko’s, it should never have seen the light of day and the criminal should be banned for life.
The CAS should be investigated.
From Inside the Games
FairSport, an independent foundation striving to eradicate doping in sport, has described the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to uphold Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko’s appeal against a lifetime ban from the Olympic Games as an “absolute travesty and mockery of justice”.
Mutko, who was Sports Minister at the time of the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Sochi, was banned from “any participation in all future Olympic Games” by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board in December 2017 as punishment for the Russian doping scandal.
The 60-year-old, promoted to Deputy Prime Minister in 2016, contested the decision to the CAS and documents released last week showed his appeal had been upheld.
The CAS ruled the IOC was unable to sanction Mutko – who was barred from attending Pyeongchang 2018 – as he was not an athlete, coach or an official member of the Russian delegation at the Games.
The Lausanne-based court said there was a “lack of legal basis” for the IOC decision, adding the organisation did not have the authority to “issue any form of disciplinary sanction against the appellant [Mutko] as an individual not subject to the IOC’s jurisdiction and regulations”.
The diary entries of the key whistleblower in the Russian doping scandal, Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory in Moscow and now living under federal protection in the United States, directly implicated Mutko.
Rodchenkov’s revelations were confirmed by the independent report of Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, leading to Russia’s partial ban from the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics and total ban from the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics.
In a statement, FairSport co-founder Jim Swartz has slammed the CAS’s decision to uphold Mutko’s appeal.
“The reinstatement of Vitaly Mutko is an absolute travesty and a mockery of justice,” it reads.
“If the matter had been fully litigated, Mutko’s CAS appeal would have exposed much more detail about his role in overseeing Russian cheating because Dr Grigory Rodchenkov and Richard McLaren were prepared to present significant new evidence that has not yet been publicly released.
“Additionally, Gunter Younger of WADA was analysing evidence obtained from the Moscow lab, which would have likely confirmed widespread doping of Russian athletes that could only have occurred with active Government support.
“Despite this factual backdrop, the decision to abruptly halt the litigation speaks volumes about the flaws of the current system.”