"Diktat", "sad", "unfair" ... The Russian sports world was bitter and stunned Tuesday after the recommendation made the day before by an independent committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) which paves the way for a suspension of country, suspected of falsifying data, for the next Olympics.
According to the WADA Compliance Review Committee (CRC), Russia had removed "hundreds" of suspicious anti-doping results from its files sent to WADA at the beginning of the year. However, the delivery of these data was a prerequisite for lifting previous sanctions against the Russian anti-doping agency (Rusada), at the heart of an institutional doping system between 2011 and 2015.
In the eyes of the CRC, the case is "extremely serious". If WADA's Executive Committee, which will meet in Paris on December 9, confirms the recommended measures, Russia will be banned from international sport for four years, excluding competitions, including the Olympic Games.
Athletes who have demonstrated "that they are not involved in any way" in doping cases could however be admitted, under a neutral flag, as was the case at the 2018 Winter Olympics or at international athletics competitions since 2015. .
A solution deemed "inadequate" by the boss of the American anti-doping. "The AMA must hit harder and ban the participation of all Russian athletes in the Olympics, as allowed by the regulation," said Travis Tygart, who strongly criticized the lifting of suspension of the Russian anti-doping agency (Rusada) last year.
"Russia continues to scoff at global anti-doping rules, humiliate clean athletes, taunt WADA and get away with it again and again," said Tygart, for whom "now is the time to impose sanctions on harder possible ".
Without waiting for the December 9 meeting, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it will "support the harshest sanctions" against "all those responsible for this manipulation," denouncing "an attack on the credibility of sport itself and an insult to the global sports movement ".
Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov, for his part repeated that Russia has "honestly fulfilled its obligations" and has already announced that if WADA votes the sanctions requested by the CRC, Russia will defend itself before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) of Lausanne.
Some Russian sports federations and officials have called for waiting for the fateful date, others have let their anger burst.
The boxing federation, which initially denounced a "very unfair" recommendation and a "diktat", issued a statement in which its president Umar Kremlev says that "the Russian sports officials, including the leaders of the sports federations, are to blame".
For its part, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation also said in a statement "have always declared for a clean sport" and "respect the decision of all international organizations on the issue of doping".
- Sportsmen "hostages" -
Russian anti-doping agency boss Yuri Ganous expects WADA to follow the recommendations and suspend Russia, plunging her country "into a new anti-doping crisis".
Asked by AFP, he urged President Vladimir Putin to take "an active part" in the establishment of a new sports governance.
The lawyers of the former director of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, who was on the run in the United States, called on the IOC to be uncompromising. "WADA deserves applause for revealing the crimes of Russia, but if the IOC and the sports authorities give a pass to Russia, other countries will rush into the breach," said Jim Walden and Avni Patel in a statement published in the United States.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he sees a political dimension in the CRC recommendation and a willingness to place Moscow "in a defensive position, accused of everything and everywhere".
Suddenly, the strong way is advocated: for four years, no Russian official, neither the flag of the country, nor his anthem would be entitled to city during the Olympic Games and Paralympics.
Russia, which has made sport a tool of its power on the international scene, would also no longer be allowed to apply for the attribution of international sporting events.
A time evoked, an exclusion of Russia from the Euro-2020, including four meetings will take place in St. Petersburg, seems dismissed, an official of the AMA assured AFP that the competition was not concerned by the recommended sanctions.
It remains to be seen whether the WADA Executive Committee, composed equally of representatives of the Olympic Movement and governments, will go so far. In any case, it will be up to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to decide as a last resort.
burs-pop / tbm / chc / ll / gf / mca
© 2019 AFP