The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Thursday (January 9) confirmed that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will take a call on the four-year ban imposed on Russia last month.
The world’s highest sports court will be the final decision maker for the exclusion of Russia from international sporting competitions or consider the country’s case against the doping-fail situation.
The announcement came exactly a month after WADA banned Russia over what it considers a state-sponsored doping scheme — prohibiting the country’s sportspersons from participating in such events as this year’s Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the 2022 football World Cup.
According to WADA, Russia “manipulated” data from an anti-doping laboratory in Moscow in the latest move in a long-running scandal that began with the 2015 revelation of long-term institutional doping involving senior Russian officials, secret agents, and trafficked urine vials.
Under the sanctions, Russians would be allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics only if they can demonstrate they were not part of the doping network — the same situation they faced at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, where Russia’s men captured ice hockey gold.
Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) disputed the WADA executive committee ban on December 27, setting the stage for WADA to send the case to CAS.
WADA said its filing to CAS included naming RUSADA as respondent and the statement of a brief fact of the case. When an arbitration panel is nominated regarding the matter and issues timelines in the matter, WADA will file a full brief with CAS.
Russian athletes have pressured their nation’s athletics governing body over its handling of the doping scandal.
Three-time high jump world champion Mariya Lasitskene was among the Russian track and field figures urging compatriots to challenge sporting authorities, warning she would quit
Russia and train elsewhere so as not to miss the Tokyo Olympics after having missed the 2016 Rio Olympics due to the scandal.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board discussed the Russian situation during a meeting Wednesday in Lausanne.
“Obviously we are waiting for a (CAS) decision before we start to look at those details,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told AFP.
(With inputs from agencies)