From Inside the Games

The long-awaited Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearings in the case between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) are set to begin in Lausanne tomorrow.

WADA last December handed down a four-year package of sanctions on Russia after it found the country had manipulated and tampered with data at the Moscow Laboratory.

If sport’s highest court upholds WADA’s decision, Russia’s flag and anthem will be banned from the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics next year and the Beijing 2022 Winter Games.

Russia could also be stripped of World Championships it has been awarded.

The country has been barred from bidding for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

There would be a route to competition at major events for Russian athletes who can prove they had no involvement in the doping scandal that emerged in the wake of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games or the subsequent cover-up.

International Federations, in conjunction with WADA, would decide which Russian athletes can compete.

The sanctions were approved by the WADA Executive Committee after an investigation alleged data from the Moscow Laboratory was intentionally altered prior to and while it was being forensically copied by WADA in January 2019.

Access to the Moscow Laboratory data was key to WADA’s decision to controversially reinstate RUSADA after it had been declared non-compliant in 2015.

The data was required to determine more Russian drugs cheats while potentially clearing others.

WADA President Witold Bańka has said the organisation is convinced the sanctions announced last December was the correct decision.

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