Russian athletes will be able to participate in the Olympics and championships under neutral symbols for the next four years.
The World Anti-Doping Agency suspended Russia from international competitions, including the Olympics and World Championships, for four years. Russian athletes will be eligible to participate if it is confirmed that they have not taken doping.
At the same time, they will be able to perform only under a neutral flag and without the Russian anthem. 145 athletes from Russia have been suspended from the competition. Correspondent.net tells the details.
The most powerful blow to Russian sport
On December 9, the world anti-doping agency’s executive committee considered sanctions against Russia at a meeting in Lausanne. The issue arose in connection with numerous “inconsistencies” found in the database of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory transferred to WADA in January.
Russia handed over this base to WADA in early 2019 to lift all restrictions on participation in international competitions. After studying the base, the agency came to the conclusion that someone was making changes to it.
This continued until early 2019, although by that time the base had long been seized by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation as physical evidence in the case of the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov.
The Compliance Committee of the Head Anti-Doping Structure recommends that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency be stripped of its compliance status and that Russia should be sanctioned by the new International Standard for The International Compliance.
The WADA executive committee followed the recommendations and dealt a powerful blow to Russian sport, Kommersant notes. There is no exact wording, which competitions should be included in the list of unavailable for Russia, but there are Olympic Games and world championships.
Russian athletes will compete in all major competitions in the next four years without symbolism. During this period, in addition to the summer Olympics in Tokyo, there are winter games in Beijing, as well as a number of significant competitions, such as the World Cup in the country, which will be held in 2022.
A press release released on Monday said WADA experts had concluded that Russia manipulated databases in an attempt to cover up systemic doping by Russian athletes. Moscow denies all charges of manipulation of doping tests.
WADA has issued a press release containing a new paragraph on the participation of Russian athletes in international competitions – they can only perform if all the rules are followed (without exception):
They were not mentioned in Richard McLaren’s report on doping in Russian sport.
They do not have positive doping tests, information about which is in the database of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.
Their data was not affected during the manipulation by the Russian side.
They passed the doping control in full.
They meet the strict criteria that WADA will later define.
In addition, Russia has the right to appeal the WADA decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
WADA chief executive Craig Reedie and his colleague, WADA compliance committee chairman Jonathan Taylor, said the decision was in the interests of the athletes themselves. Choosing between a total and a partial ban, the members of the executive committee, they said, took into account the interests of young athletes not involved in doping violations.
But many in the organization and abroad are disappointed, considering the punishment not severe enough. WADA vice-president Linda Helleland said she demanded tougher sanctions on Russian sport, but she said it was the maximum WADA was capable of.
In Germany, the WADA decision was welcomed. “To those who have been trampling on the values of sport for years, a place on the bench of the penitentiaries. In this sense, WADA’s “red card” is a logical response to the incessant manipulation sway and violations of the rules of world sport,” DW quoted the head of the German Olympic Sports Union, Alphonse Herman, as saying.
The scale of doping manipulation in Russia left WADA with no choice, said Dagmar Freitag, chairwoman of the Bundestag’s sports committee.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, for his part, said that sanctions in sports are “a continuation of this anti-Russian hysteria, which has already taken a chronic form.”
According to the head of the Russian government, the decision of the WADA executive committee should be appealed. At the same time, Medvedev acknowledged that in Russia “there are significant problems with doping” that “cannot be denied”.