Russia’s ban on international sport for doping offenses has been upheld by the sports arbitration court, but there was a controversy queuing as his penalty was reduced from four years to two.
The ruling means that Russia’s teams will be excluded not only from next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo, but also from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and the 2020 World Cup in Qatar. Russia will also not be able to host world championship events while the ban lasts.
However, a UEFA spokesperson confirmed that Russia will still be able to play in Euro 2020 and host matches, because the ruling only applies to global, non-continental events.
And although the Russian tricolor will not be raised, nor will they energetically shout “Rossiya – svyashchennaya nasha derzhava” to each other. At the world championships for the next two years, Russian athletes who can prove they were not involved in the doping scandal will also be able to compete as neutrals.
The decision was welcomed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), which had brought the case against Russia after finding it guilty of deliberately erasing and manipulating athlete doping data in its Moscow laboratory to cover up state-sponsored systematic doping. .
“Wada is pleased to have won this landmark case,” said Wada President Witold Bańka. “The panel has clearly confirmed our findings that the Russian authorities blatantly and illegally manipulated the Moscow Laboratory data in an effort to cover up an institutionalized doping scheme. In the face of continued resistance and denial from Russia, we clearly demonstrate our case. In that sense, this ruling is an important moment for fair sport and athletes around the world.
“However, we are disappointed that the Cas Panel did not endorse each and every one of our recommended consequences for the four-year period we requested. But these remain the strongest consequences ever imposed on a country for doping-related offenses.
“Russia will not be able to participate in, run for or host any covered events, including two editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and many other major events, for the next two years. He will not wave the Russian flag or play his anthem. This sends a clear message that institutionalized cheating and concerted efforts to subvert the global anti-doping system will not be tolerated. “
However, Cas’s decision to reduce Russia’s punishment from four years to two was called “absurd and undeserved” by Jim Walden, the lawyer for Russian whistleblower Gregory Rodchenkov, who did much to expose the full scope of the doping program. from the country.
“Despite overwhelming evidence of corruption, doping fraud and obstruction of justice, including a blatant attempt to falsely frame Dr. Rodchenkov through fabricated evidence, Cas has once again proven that he is unwilling and unable to stand up to significantly to the systematic and prolonged criminality of Russia “he said.
“Cas cut the ban in half, allowing Russian athletes to participate in international sporting events anyway, and in fact kept an already limited ban in name only.”
In a statement, the arbitration court insisted that its decision to uphold Russia’s ban reflected the “nature and seriousness” of its behavior, and denied that it had been lenient with the country.
“The consequences that the panel has decided to impose are not as extensive as those sought by Wada,” he added. However, this should not be interpreted as validation of the conduct of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency or the Russian authorities. It has considered issues of proportionality and, in particular, the need to effect a cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport. “
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