Russia’s anti-doping agency Rusada confirmed on Thursday that it is contesting its ban from major sporting events as a result of doping violations.
RUSADA anti-doping agency “made a decision not to agree” with the four-year ban by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision, the head of RUSADA’s supervisory board, Alexander Ivlev, told journalists.
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The Rusada board voted on Thursday to file an arbitration case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in Switzerland. The decision must be approved by another panel of Russian sports and anti-doping figures, but that seems a formality. Senior political figures including President Vladimir Putin had indicated they wanted an appeal filed.
WADA on December 10 banned Russia for four years from major global events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, over manipulated doping data.
The country will also be blocked from hosting international sporting competitions. Individual athletes may be able to compete in events if they can prove they are not implicated or affected by the manipulated laboratory data which led to the country being banned.
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Putin has already indicated that this will result in one of the longest. As he addressed journalists at his annual press, the president said:
“We will have to calmly await all the relevant decisions, including the decision by the arbitration court, then we will understand what position we’re in.
“If WADA does not have any issues with our national Olympic committee our team must compete under its flag,
“If a majority of our athletes are clean how is it possible to slap sanctions against them for someone else’s actions?
“Russian athletes have been training and will be training for competition. They will keep making us happy with their brilliant victories,”