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Russian sport heavily penalised with four year ban by WADA

9 Dec 2019 11:30

   IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation

Russia is on course to have its presence and participation in international sport severely curtailed for four years, after World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) leaders today endorsed the recommendations of the Agency’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC). But the sanctions stop short of a blanket ban on Russian athletes. WADA said the decision was unanimous. The latest ban leaves the door open for Russian athletes, who can prove they are not tainted by the scandal, to compete as neutral athletes.

Formal notice will now be sent to the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), alleging non-compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code for failing to provide an “authentic” copy of Moscow anti-doping laboratory data.

Conclusion that this is “an extremely serious case of non-compliance with the requirement to provide an authentic copy of the Moscow data, with several aggravating features.”

The CRC has alleged that this data was manipulated before being handed over to investigators, as required under conditions for reinstating RUSADA’s compliance with the code in September 2018.

The matter is now likely to be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for final adjudication. It is yet unclear what is the impact for judo, but for the first time this threat looks unanimous for all sports for the next Olympic Games.

If RUSADA disputes WADA’s allegation, the matter will be referred to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) (ISCCS Art. 10.4.1). Under the ISCCS, ”If the Signatory wishes to dispute the asserted non-compliance and/or the proposed Signatory Consequences and/or the proposed Reinstatement conditions, then (in accordance with Article 23.5.6 of the Code) it must notify WADA in writing within twenty-one days of its receipt of the notice from WADA. WADA shall then file a formal notice of dispute with CAS, and the dispute will be resolved by the CAS Ordinary Arbitration Division.”

The sanctions apply for the International Olympic Committee and/or the International Paralympic Committee (as applicable), and the National Olympic Committee and/or the National Paralympic Committee (as applicable), where the decision may have an effect in relation to the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games (including decisions affecting eligibility to attend/participate in the Olympic Games or Paralympic Games) and an International Federation like the IJF, where the decision may have an effect on participation in the International Federation's World Championships/International Events and/or on a bid that has been submitted for a country to host the International Federation's World Championships.

Russian events in danger

There are five international judo events held in Russia: Grand Slam Ekaterinburg, European Cup Orenburg, Junior European Cup St. Petersburg and Cadet European Cup in Tula. In 2019 Russia organised the European U23 Championships. However Russia is able to compete at the UEFA European Football Championships as it is not a world wide tournament, IOC President Thomas Bach said. That is promising for all European events where Russians should be able to attend and work on the talents for the future.

A team of 32 athletes is selected for the IJF Masters in Qingdao, for now the athletes can participate as long as the RUSADA has the option to appeal.

The findings led to sanctions, including no Russian team being present at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, with certain eligible athletes being forced to compete under a neutral flag.

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