Russia anti-doping chief says expects WADA to uphold ban
Russia’s anti-doping chief said Tuesday he expected the World Anti-Doping Agency to uphold a recommendation that Russia be barred from all sporting competition for four years.
“That’s the reality,” RUSADA chief Yury Ganus told AFP after a key WADA panel made the recommendation on Monday, accusing Moscow of falsifying laboratory data handed over to investigators.
“We are plunging, for the next four years, into a new phase of Russia’s doping crisis,” Ganus said.
“Four years is a long time, that’s two Olympic Games,” he said.
Ganus said Russia urgently needed new sports management and called on President Vladimir Putin to intervene.
“Honestly, I am waiting for the president to take an active part in this.”
“There are a lot of problems in sports here but the most difficult and tragic thing is that our athletes have become hostages of the actions of our sports officials.”
“We need to push through real changes,” he said. “We need new sports leaders.”
In a bombshell statement, WADA’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC) called for the sanctions, which would see Russia banned from next year’s Tokyo Olympics, to be approved at a meeting in Paris on December 9.
The WADA committee has also recommended Russia be barred from staging or bidding for major international sporting events for a four-year period -- potentially placing Saint Petersburg’s status as one of the venues for the Euro 2020 football tournament in jeopardy.
If the sanctions are approved by WADA’s Executive Committee, Russia can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The proposed punishments followed what WADA investigators described as “an extremely serious” case of non-compliance “with several aggravating features.”
The recommended four-year ban comes after WADA investigators examined data from Russia’s doping-tainted Moscow laboratory, which were handed over to WADA in January.
The proposed WADA sanctions are the latest chapter of a saga which first erupted in 2015, when an independent WADA commission investigating allegations of Russian doping said it had found evidence of a vast state-sponsored system stretching back years.