The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced a decision in a dispute between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).
RUSADA hoped to achieve in Lausanne the lifting of sanctions by WADA, which deprived Russian colleagues of the anti-doping code compliance status on December 9, 2019.
WADA also demanded that Russia be suspended from participation in major international competitions for four years.
The reason for this decision by WADA was the conclusions of the agency's compliance committee, which accused RUSADA of falsifying the database of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, which was transferred in January this year, and in violation of the conditions for restoring the agency in September last year.
The hearings were held in early November 2020, and the CAS verdict was announced on December 17.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport took the side of WADA.
As noted in the release, the CAS panel unanimously determined that RUSADA did not comply with the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) and was unable to provide WADA with the LIMS database.
As a result, the CAS commission has issued a number of orders that will be valid for two years - from December 17, 2020 to December 16, 2022.
During this period, Russian athletes will have to compete at the World Championships and the Olympic Games without the national flag and national anthem.
In particular, it will be prohibited to place an image of the flag or coat of arms of the Russian Federation on the uniform of athletes.
It is not forbidden to place the name of the country on the equipment, but the inscription “neutral athlete” must be present (which must be read as well as the name of the country).
The anthem will be prohibited not only from playing in competitions in a musical arrangement, but also from singing.
At the same time, athletes with a doping history who have served a disqualification will be able to compete at the Games without restrictions.
Responsibility for the future restoration of RUSADA lies with the agency itself.
RUSADA is obliged to reimburse WADA for $ 1.27 million spent on researching the database of the Moscow laboratory, as well as pay 400 thousand Swiss francs to compensate for legal costs and a fine of 10% of its income in 2019, but not more than $ 100 thousand.
“The Commission has taken measures to reflect the nature and seriousness of non-compliance with WADA regulations and to ensure that sport is protected from the scourge of doping.
The measures taken by the commission are not as exhaustive as required by WADA.
However, this should not be interpreted as admitting the admissibility of the behavior of RUSADA or the Russian authorities.
In making decisions, the Commission is limited to the powers conferred under applicable law, in particular WADC and the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories.
The Commission considered the issues of proportionality of punishment to the nature of the violation committed and, in particular, the need to implement cultural changes and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in pure international sports, ”the document says.
The approved sanctions also affected Russian government officials.
They will not be able to be members of councils, committees and other divisions of international federations that have signed the WADA Code.
They are banned from attending the World and Olympic Championships for two years, although there are a number of exceptions to this rule.
In addition, until December 16, 2022, Russia will not be able to hold major competitions or claim to organize such starts.
It is recommended to consider transferring already received tournaments to other countries, if possible.
At the same time, the 2025 World Aquatics Championships in Kazan, the 2023 World Ice Hockey Championships and the 2023 Summer Universiade in Yekaterinburg are not subject to sanctions.
The matches of football Euro 2020 and the final of the Champions League 2022 in St. Petersburg are also not in danger, since they do not fall into the category of tournaments specified by the CAS.
The question remains with the Volleyball World Championship.
It is scheduled for August 26 - September 11, 2022 in ten cities of Russia.
WADA's reaction to the final CAS verdict was mixed.
Thus, the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency Vitold Ban'ka expressed his joy over the won process, but at the same time said about his disappointment because the CAS Commission did not approve all the recommendations.
According to him, a proportionate punishment for Russia would be precisely a four-year period of ineligibility.
In turn, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) sharply criticized the CAS decision on Russian athletes and called it "a catastrophic blow to clean athletes, the integrity of sports and the rule of law."
President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov told reporters that he did not welcome the CAS decision.
According to him, the ROC considers it unacceptable to ban government officials from attending the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Pozdnyakov also clarified that Russian athletes will perform at the Olympics as an NOC team.
“Our position was initially based on the fact that there are no grounds for any punishment of RUSADA and, as a consequence, sanctions against the participants in the process.
The court did not fully take into account the argumentation and arguments, "- stated the head of the ROC.
Among major foreign officials in support of Russian athletes, President of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Rene Fasel spoke.
He admitted that he wanted a complete justification for Russia.
“This CAS decision is much better than what WADA threatened earlier.
There is a reason to be satisfied.
As for the decision to deprive Russia of the flag at the competition, I do not consider it fair, ”Fazel told RIA Novosti.
Honored coach of the USSR in figure skating Tatyana Tarasova expressed the opinion that "because of the mistakes of some uncles" Russian athletes should not refuse a trip to the Olympics.
According to the famous specialist, athletes train from the age of four and should not suffer through someone else's fault.
The honorary president of the ROC, Vitaly Smirnov, considered the reduction of the period of Russia's suspension to two years as a serious progress.
In his opinion, OCD was taking the right steps to gradually normalize the situation.
“The restrictions on the participation of athletes have been lifted: previously they were charged with the need to pass special tests and so on, now they will be admitted on a general basis, like athletes from other countries.
Then the ban on the participation of the leadership and representatives of the Russian Olympic Committee will be removed, ”suggested Smirnov, quoted by TASS.