9 Dec 2019 18:44

Russian Biathlon Union president denounces WADA's decision to bar Russia from competition for 4 years

MOSCOW. Dec 9 (Interfax) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee's decision to bar Russia from international competition for four years is not impartial, Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) President Vladimir Drachev said on the Rossiya-24 (VGTRK) television channel on Monday.

"This is an extremely wrong and biased decision for Russian sport. Russian sport has done a lot lately, athletes have undergone doping tests, and all instances [of violations of anti-doping rules] in Russia have been left in the past," Drachev said.

"I can say that the Russian biathlon community has carried out over 250 tests this year, all of them have been negative, and we have complied with all requirements of RUSADA [the Russian Anti-Doping Agency] and the IBU [International Biathlon Union]. All our athletes are clean," Drachev said.

WADA's decision is politically biased, he said.

"In my view, there is some beneficiary behind this. The decision made today is a political rather than a purely sports-related one. Suspending all Russian sport and the Russian Olympic Committee and its young athletes is certainly wrong. Sports should be away from politics, and strong athletes should compete and represent their country, they should not perform under a neutral flag," Drachev said.

"We'll keep working together with the Russian Olympic Committee, RUSADA, and Sports Ministry, we will file some appeals, and we will go to courts," he said.

The WADA Executive Committee decided on Monday to bar Russia from competing internationally for four years.

At the same time, WADA has not imposed an absolute ban on participation of any Russian athletes in sports competitions on any terms.

The BBC said WADA's decision won't prevent the Russian national soccer team from competing in the UEFA Euro 2020, as UEFA as the tournament's organizer is not on the WADA list of Major Event Organizations (MEOs) responsible for complying with anti-doping policies and rules as prescribed by the World Anti-Doping Code.

Some world media outlets have assumed that Russia would appeal WADA's decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).