The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) seized the Sports Arbitration Tribunal (CAS) on Thursday on the Russian doping file, after having declared in December the exclusion of Russia from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The CAS, headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, must now make a final decision on the exclusion for four years of Russia from any international competition, pronounced on December 9 by WADA to sanction the "manipulation" of data from Doping controls, handed over to WADA by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada), said WADA in a statement.
"Any CAS decision (...) must be recognized and applied by all signatories to the Code (World Anti-Doping, editor's note)," said WADA. On December 27, Rusada had appealed the AMA decision, leading to this referral to the CAS.
WADA recalled that, despite the exclusion of Russia, Russian athletes will be able to participate under neutral flag in competitions provided that they prove that they are not involved in this vast affair.
This doping case institutionalized in Russia between 2011 and 2015 involves several cogs in the state, including the Ministry of Sports and the FSB secret service, according to several international surveys.
Since the end of 2015, international athletics competitions only accept selections of "neutral" Russian sportsmen, without the colors of the country. The white, blue and red flag was also not raised at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
In early 2019, the submission of thousands of raw doping control data, stored on the servers of the former Moscow laboratory, should have closed the case.
But computer experts commissioned by WADA discovered that "hundreds" of suspicious results had been erased from this data, some between December 2018 and January 2019, just before their delivery by the Russian authorities to the world anti-doping policeman.
© 2020 AFP