21 Jan 2020 20:38

WADA decision to strip RUSADA of compliance status disproportionate - ROC head

MOSCOW. Jan 21 (Interfax) - The decisions made by both Russian and international sport federations to act as third parties in a dispute between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) indicate the ambiguity of the decisions made by the WADA Executive Committee regarding RUSADA, President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov said.

"The fact that applications to engage as third parties in the court dispute between WADA and RUSADA were filed by plenty of both Russian and international sport organizations and federations, as well as by a number of well-known athletes, once again confirms the equivocality of recommendations made by the WADA Compliance Committee and backed by the WADA Executive Committee. As well as the ambiguity and disproportionality of the expected consequences," the ROC press service quoted Pozdnyakov as saying on Tuesday.

"Therefore, the IOC [the International Olympic Committee], ROC, federations, and the Paralympic Committee, and all those who officially stated their desire to join the trial as a third party, go to the CAS in order to obtain detailed, exhaustive and legally substantiated clarifications that do not tolerate any dual interpretations on each of disputable clauses of the WADA decisions. The more questions, which should be answered, the more weighed-out final decisions may be. As it is necessary to take positions and arguments of various sides into account. There were no any sorts of precedents, as the interests of almost all largest international sports bodies are involved in that this way or another," Pozdnyakov said.

The decision to act in the CAS as third parties was made by the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committees, the OIC, and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and a number of sport federations and individual athletes.

The WADA Executive Committee decided on December 9 to deprive RUSADA of compliance status and suspend Russian athletes from competing internationally for four years for manipulating data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab. The decision means that Russia will not be able to nominate its athletes to compete in the Olympic Games, world championships, and other major tournaments, nor will it be allowed to host major international competitions during this time.

At the same time, Russian athletes with no history of doping will have a chance to compete in the Olympic Games as neutral athletes, with the Russian flag and Russian anthem banned at official competitions.

On December 19, the RUSADA Supervisory Board recommended that the agency's General Assembly refuse to accept the decision made by the WADA Executive Committee. The RUSADA General Assembly adopted the recommendation on December 24.

RUSADA head Yury Ganus was ordered to send WADA a notice concerning disagreement with the sanctions on December 27.

The relevant notice has been sent to WADA, Ganus told Interfax on December 27.

RUSADA will thus contest the decision made by the WADA Executive Committee in the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.