Russia is faced with a threat of being barred from all the major international sports events, including the Summer and Winter Olympics, for a period of four years. The Compliance Review Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) compliance review committee has recommended strong consequences against Russian for non-compliance with RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency) guidelines.
WADA’s Executive Committee will discuss the Compliance Review Committee’s recommendations at its meeting in Paris on December 9. If the recommendation is accepted, the WADA will send a formal notice to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency for non-compliance and the penalties will be recommended in accordance with the Code. As per the procedure, RUSADA will have 21 days to accept the notice, failing that the matter will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
CAS’s decision will be binding on the parties – WADA, RUSADA and sports governing bodies in Russia.
The 26-page CRC recommendations, signed by CRC Chair, Jonathan Taylor QC, remind the Executive Committee that as part of September 20, 2018. the decision to reinstate RUSADA to the list of Code-compliant Signatories, “WADA’s ExCo (executive committee had) deemed the requirement to provide an authentic copy of the Moscow Data to be ‘Critical’ because:
Ø it would enable the anti-doping community finally to resolve and draw a line under the allegations of a systematic conspiracy to dope Russian athletes;
Ø it would ensure that any Russian athletes who had tested positive could be punished; and
Ø just as importantly it would ensure that innocent Russian athletes could be cleared of suspicion.”
A ban can prevent the Russian teams from competing at next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. The consequences may be more serious and Russia might lose the right to bid for hosting mega-events during the ban period. The events already allotted to the State may also be withdrawn.
Russia thus might lose the opportunity to host the UEFA Euro 2020 Football tournament. The country might also have to drop its plans to bid for the right to host the 2032 Olympic Games. Russian sports officials and athletes would also not be welcome at any major sports event during the ban period, including the country’s Olympic Committee officials at the Olympics.
Meanwhile, the head of Russia’s Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, has called for the leadership of the country’s athletics federation to be replaced. The call comes in the wake of the international governing body World Athletics, previously IAAF, deciding to halt the reinstatement of the Russian federation due to the ongoing doping scandal. The matter despite being separate has a link to the Wada investigation.
Russia had finished fourth at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games behind the USA, the UK, and China with 56 medals – 19 gold, 17 silver, and 20 bronze.