On December 9, the executive committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accepted the recommendation of the compliance committee to deprive Russia of the right to participate in major international sports competitions for four years. In this regard, the head of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov made an official statement. According to him, the results of the meeting of the WADA Executive Committee were predictable.
“Of course, we are disappointed, but initially it was assumed that the recommendations of the compliance committee would be approved by members of the executive committee without any changes. Especially after the main points were publicly available two weeks before they were examined directly by the WADA Executive Committee. We believe that this was connected with the goal of influencing and anticipating the outcome of today's meeting in Lausanne, ”he said.
The official said that the decision of the agency will be considered in the near future by the supervisory board of RUSADA.
“Now we need to formally and very carefully study the text of the recommendations approved by the WADA Executive Committee and finally formulate our legal position. The decision to agree or disagree with the instructions of the WADA executive committee will be made by the supervisory board of the Russian anti-doping agency, which will convene over the next ten days. Prior to the meeting of the Supervisory Board, representatives of RUSADA, ROC or RCC to speak out on the issue of consent or disagreement are not authorized, ”he added.
Pozdnyakov also emphasized that the position of the ROC on restrictive measures by WADA remains unchanged.
“The sanctions are inadequate, illogical and excessive. We are convinced that Russian athletes should go to the Olympic Games in Tokyo as part of a team that will be formed by the national Olympic Committee, as recorded in the Olympic Charter. And we will do our best for the Olympic team to appear in Japan under the colors of the Russian tricolor and, again, in accordance with the Olympic Charter, ”the official said.
Speaking about the restrictions approved by WADA, the head of the ROC noted that the organization has no specific arguments regarding Russia.
“The WADA report itself does not contain any accusations against the Olympic and Paralympic Committees of Russia, which was noted in the official statement of the International Olympic Committee as well. Nevertheless, the consequences of the WADA Executive Committee order directly infringe on the rights of our organizations. For example, regarding collective restrictions to members of the executive committee of the ROC and RCC. The proposed restrictions and their consequences will certainly hit international sports federations, ”said Pozdnyakov.
The official also emphasized that such sanctions are humiliating for “pure” athletes.
“We are categorically against the set of restrictive requirements that the WADA Executive Committee has approved today regarding pure Russian athletes. In addition to the punitive and humiliating focus on “clean” athletes, these regulations will in no way help restore the status of compliance with the Russian anti-doping agency, ”he added.
Pozdnyakov stressed that for its part, the committee will continue to fight for the interests of Russian athletes.
“Of course, we will protect and defend our rights and the rights of our“ pure ”athletes in an appropriate manner. Ultimately, it is the athletes who are the main actors and without whom there is no sense in organizations, commissions and committees, who are in this case the injured party. And this is the most important thing now. Athletes who in a fair fight, without violating any rules, have won the right to compete, must do this under exactly the same conditions as their rivals, ”the official said.
The head of the ROC stressed that the position of WADA remains incomprehensible to the Russian side.
“By today's decision of WADA, Russian athletes are deprived of equal rights, as well as the human and civil rights of representing their country. It’s impossible to understand the position of WADA leaders voiced at today's press conference about not allowing Russian athletes to participate in international competitions, whose names could be mentioned in the allegedly missing part of the database of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, ”he said.
In conclusion, Pozdnyakov criticized the decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency for lack of evidence.
“Punishment without evidence, as well as the punishment of guaranteed innocents, seems to be becoming the new standard for sanctions in sports. The fight against doping should be conducted uncompromisingly within the framework of the law. The guilty should be fully responsible, but the law cannot be turned into a whip for the innocent and applied selectively on national, ideological and especially political grounds, ”concluded the head of the ROC.