The Supervisory Board of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) recommended that the organization’s leadership disagree with the verdict of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and appeal it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne (CAS). The country positively evaluated this decision. According to experts, the Russian side must at all costs defend the rights of pure athletes.
The Minister of Sports of the Russian Federation Pavel Kolobkov supported this recommendation, and the President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov suggested that the board of founders of RUSADA would support the initiative of the supervisory board.
“The Supervisory Board is an independent body, it consists of respected, competent colleagues who made a balanced, informed and motivated decision today. And we have no reason to disagree with him. In fact, for the general meeting of RUSADA members, the recommendation of the supervisory board is the same as for the WADA - compliance committee, ”Pozdnyakov explained.
OCD, as one of the founders of RUSADA, will consider the recommendations of the Supervisory Board on December 24. In addition, the organization, together with the Russian Paralympic Committee (RCC), will determine the composition of experts who will represent the country's interests in court.
According to the former world heavyweight boxing champion, State Duma deputy Nikolai Valuev, the WADA decision is unfair, as the Russian side has fulfilled all the requirements for restoring its status.
“Initially, it was clear that you need to appeal to the CAS. I believe that on some points we can defend (our right. - RT ). Pure athletes must go to the Olympics, in spite of everything, and not fall under any sanctions, ”RIA Novosti quotes Valuev as saying.
A similar position was expressed by the 2006 Olympic champion in speed skating, Svetlana Zhurova. She emphasized that the appeal process should not be delayed, since if the court is lost, the suspension will be counted from the moment the verdict is issued.
“We need to focus on some points, in particular on the rights of athletes and the national flag. For me personally, the rest is secondary. Athletes do not want to play in neutral status. We have experience when lawyers defended the representatives of the national team and the Olympic medal in Sochi. Bearing this in mind, the chances of winning a court are good, ”Zhurova suggested.
“We need to fight, to defend our rights in international sports. Voices in support of Russia are increasingly heard in the international community, as our country has always been a member of the world sports family, ”TASS quoted the head of the State Duma committee on physical education, sports, tourism and youth affairs Mikhail Degtyarev.
In turn, Dmitry Svishchev, a member of the Russian State Duma Committee on Physical Culture, Sports, Tourism and Youth Affairs, said that the WADA decision was political in nature, and therefore Russia needed to challenge it.
“If we have doping, let's solve this problem. But if the politics and interests of other national agencies are involved here, <...> then these things must be shared. I welcome RUSADA’s decision and that we will probably defend the interests of Russian sports and pure Russian athletes in the courts, ”Svishchev said.
The president of the All-Russian Federation of Rhythmic Gymnastics (WFHG) Irina Viner-Usmanova remained in solidarity with his opinion. She cited the words of the head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, who declared the inadmissibility of mixing sports and politics.
“A number of accusations against Russian sports were really fair - we have dirty tails for which we must answer. But pure athletes cannot be held responsible for the sins of those who committed them; they must have the right to speak at the Olympic Games under their own flag and with their own anthem. Therefore, RUSADA’s decision to go through the courts is the only right one. We have no other choice, ”says Viner-Usmanova.
The head of the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) Vladimir Drachev called the decision of the supervisory board explainable. In his view, WADA sanctions are contrary to the Olympic Charter.
“I hope for common sense judges who will consider this issue in CAS. The fact that they objectively assess the situation in Russian sports. Athletes who are not related to the events of those years should not suffer, many of them didn’t even start a professional career then, ”the functionary emphasized.
At the same time, many experts chose not to give forecasts regarding the possible outcome of the trial.
“It is clear that we did not have to agree with the sanctions of WADA, this is absolutely the right decision. We need to fight for the athletes to the end, without giving up, ”said Elena Vyalbe, president of the Russian Cross-Country Skiing Federation (FLGR).
RUSADA management will consider the recommendation of the Supervisory Board within 10-15 days. If agreed, a letter on behalf of CEO Yuri Ganus will be sent to WADA, and then to CAS.