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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 11 May 2021

Russia's doping ban halved but name and flag barred from next two Olympics

And the country’s footballers will miss the World Cup in Qatar should they qualify too.

RUSSIA WILL NOT be officially represented at the next summer and winter Olympic Games or the 2022 football World Cup after a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

A panel of three judges at CAS unanimously found the Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA non-compliant with the global anti-doping code over its failure to provide authentic drug-test data upon request by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The Russian name, flag and anthem will now be barred from the Tokyo and Beijing Games as well as the football finals in Qatar, should Russia qualify, CAS said in a statement.

The ban also covers the Paralympic Games next summer and in Beijing, plus world championship events organised by a WADA signatory up to 16 December, 2022.

Athletes from Russia will be able to compete so long as they are not subject to a suspension themselves, that their uniform does not contain the Russian flag and does contain the words ‘neutral athlete’, CAS said.

RUSADA will only be reinstated to compliance if it respects and observes the sanctions imposed, and paid all related fines and contributions, CAS said.

Russia will also be banned from hosting or bidding to host Olympic or Paralympic Games or other world championship events related to a WADA signatory.

Where hosting rights have already been awarded to them, the relevant governing body should withdraw them, the ruling stated.

2.46300568 Russia would not be allowed to take part in the 2022 World Cup should they qualify.

The panel concluded in reaching its decision: “This panel has imposed consequences to reflect the nature and seriousness of the non-compliance and to ensure that the integrity of sport against the scourge of doping is maintained.

“The consequences which the panel has decided to impose are not as extensive as those sought by WADA. This should not, however, be read as any validation of the conduct of RUSADA or the Russian authorities.

“In making its orders, the panel is limited by the powers granted under the applicable law.

“It has considered matters of proportionality and, in particular, the need to effect cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport.”

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WADA filed a request for arbitration in January, after RUSADA appealed against the four-year ban imposed for non-compliance the previous month.

2.19093059 Sochi hosted the Winter Olympics in 2014.

WADA investigators found that data requested from Russia under the terms of its reinstatement to compliance in 2018 – which was sent to the global body in January 2019 – had been manipulated.

WADA president Witold Banka said: “WADA is pleased to have won this landmark case. We left no stone unturned in investigating this very complex matter and in presenting our case before CAS.

“The panel has clearly upheld our findings that the Russian authorities brazenly and illegally manipulated the Moscow Laboratory data in an effort to cover up an institutionalised doping scheme.

“In the face of continual resistance and denial from Russia, we clearly proved our case, in accordance with due process. In that regard, this ruling is an important moment for clean sport and athletes all over the world.”

Banka added his agency was “disappointed” that the panel did not completely endorse WADA’s initial sanctions, saying he believed they were “proportionate and reasonable”.

“Ultimately WADA is not the judge but the prosecutor and we must respect the decision of the panel,” he said.


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