Russia banned again; will they ever learn?

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© Copyright – 2019 – Athletics Illustrated

Russia, after all of their malfeasance, to do with systematic doping, cover-ups, apparent bribery, extortion, and data manipulation has been handed a four-year ban in sports that will include the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) executive committee made the decision by unanimous vote in Lausanne, Switzerland on Monday, December 9.

The outcome was no real surprise.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was from data manipulation from the Moscow Laboratory that was deemed non-compliant and closed. WADA was set to visit the lab on several occasions but was delayed by the Russians. When they finally extracted the data, WADA found it had been tampered with.

President of WADA, Sir Craig Reedie, said via news conference “For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA’s reinstatement conditions demanded a robust response.

“That is exactly what has been delivered.”

“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.”

After the decision was delivered they continued to deny the allegations and said it was all part of a Russian hysteria.

Apparently, the Russians did not watch the documentaries How Russia Makes it’s Champions that was produced by German television ARD TV, or the American documentary Icarus.

Russia will continue to host and compete in the Euro 2020 football tournament that is taking place in St. Petersburg.

This all began in 2015 when the RUSADA was declared non-compliant and they were banned from the subsequent World Athletics Championships.

Their attitude has not changed since, and they continue to cry foul; will they ever learn?

From Inside the Games

The senior barrister who chairs the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) body which originally proposed that Russia’s presence and participation in international sport be severely curtailed for four years has expressed confidence that the decision would be upheld if referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Jonathan Taylor, chair of WADA’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC), told journalists here today: “Do I expect the decision of CAS to be different from the decision of the WADA Executive Committee today? No I don’t.”

There seems a strong likelihood that CAS will have the final say now the Executive Committee has endorsed the CRC’s recommendation that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be declared non-compliant and that a series of sanctions on Russia be implemented.

Formal notice will now be sent to RUSADA, alleging non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code for failing to provide an “authentic” copy of Moscow anti-doping laboratory data.

RUSADA will then have 21 days to accept the notice.

The matter may be referred to CAS either if RUSADA disputes WADA’s allegation or if RUSADA does not dispute it but other bodies who might be affected decide to intervene.

Taylor’s view received immediate support from a key player in the Russian camp, when Yury Ganus, RUSADA director-general, told Agence France-Presse there was “no chance of winning this case in court”.

Ganus described the situation as a “tragedy”, adding that RUSADA’s supervisory board would decide on December 19 whether to appeal.

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