Will the Russian flag flutter at the Tokyo-2020 and Beijing-2022 Olympics? The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decides Monday if it pronounces the heaviest sanctions in its history, to punish Moscow for having recidivated in cheating by falsifying data controls.
"Neutral" sportsmen, no flag or anthem at the Olympics and any World Championship, ban from hosting these competitions on its soil: if the WADA Executive Committee follows the recommendation of its WRC Compliance (CRC) and matches the suspension of the anti-doping agency Rusada with such sanctions, Russia as a nation would be banned from international sport for four years.
But it would probably be a step, because Moscow can appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which will have the last word.
WADA plans to communicate its decision at 12:30 GMT (13:30 local time), during a press conference in Lausanne, where the executive committee meeting began, in camera around 09:00 GMT, in a large hotel.
"We are here because the data has been manipulated" and "we hope to get a decision today," WADA spokesman James Fitzgerald told the media.
"Today, it will be yes or no," he added. Indeed, according to its regulations, WADA can not amend or amend the CRC recommendation, but only ask it to review its copy.
- Hundreds of results cleared -
It would not be the first sanctions in this case that has plagued international sport for five years and the first revelations about institutionalized doping in Russia between 2011 and 2015, involving several wheels of the state, including the Ministry of Sports and Sport. FSB secret service.
Since the end of 2015, the international athletics competitions have accepted only selections of "neutral" Russian sportsmen, without the colors of the country. The white, blue and red flag was also not hoisted at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
In early 2019, the handover of thousands of raw anti-doping data, stored in the servers of the former Moscow laboratory, should have closed the case. This gesture of transparency, required by the AMA, should enable him to lift the veil on positive controls camouflaged within the laboratory and to mount disciplinary files against Russian athletes.
But WADA's computer experts found that "hundreds" of suspicious results had been erased from the data, some of them between December 2018 and January 2019, just before they were handed over by the Russian authorities to World Anti-Doping Constable.
Will this additional fault, which adds to an already heavy liability, be enough to convince a majority of the twelve members of the WADA Executive Committee to follow the CRC word for word? Or will they storm caution against the Russian giant?
- Clarifications -
The WADA Executive Committee is split equally between state representatives and the Olympic Movement. Shortly before the Rio 2016 Olympics, WADA had called for an exclusion of the Russians, but its decision was not binding and the IOC had not followed it.
This time, the Olympic Authority promised to support the sanctions "against all those responsible for this manipulation". But the IOC believes that only the "responsibility of the Russian authorities" is proven at this stage, not that of the "sports movement", especially the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). The OCR is subject to the proposed sanctions.
In addition, IOC President Thomas Bach of Germany said he expects clarification and justification of the "events" that are the subject of sanctions.
Other voices, including those of US anti-doping boss Travis Tygart, or members of the WADA Athlete Committee, have called for tougher sanctions, such as a total ban on the participation of Russian athletes in OJ.
"It is time for WADA and the IOC to take the toughest possible sanctions against the biggest scandal in the history of sport," WADA Vice President Linda Helleland of Norway said on Sunday evening. , partisan of firmness.
© 2019 AFP