Mon, Dec 09, 2019 - Page 10 News List

WADA to meet as Russia’s Olympic fate to be decided

AFP, LAUSANNE, Switzerland

Russia are to discover today whether they will be banished from sporting competitions, including the Olympic Games, for four years when the World Anti-Doping Agency hold a crunch meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.

WADA’s executive committee is expected to approve a recommendation by its Compliance Review Committee (CRC) that Russia be handed a four-year suspension after accusing Moscow of falsifying laboratory doping data handed over to investigators earlier this year.

Such a heavy sanction would see Russia ruled out of next year’s Tokyo Olympics and the Winter Games in Beijing in 2022.

Russian government officials would be barred from attending any major events, while the country would lose the right to host, or even bid, for tournaments.

Under the proposed sanctions, Russian athletes would still be allowed to compete at the Olympics next year, but only if they can demonstrate that they were not part of the Russian system.

Full disclosure of data from the Moscow laboratory was a key condition of Russia’s controversial reinstatement by WADA in September last year.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency had been suspended for nearly three years previously over revelations of a vast state-supported doping program.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach refused to “speculate” on the outcome of the WADA meeting, but asked for a “clear” answer for events that might be affected.

“I’m not in a position to speculate,” Bach said on Thursday after a meeting of the IOC’s own Executive Board. “I don’t know the details of the decision WADA could take. I hope that WADA will be clear on the events to which this decision will refer and why it applies or not.”

“This is in the hands of WADA and in particular the CRC,” Bach said, making clear that the decision would be binding on the IOC as “a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code.”

WADA president Craig Reedie made a presentation Saturday to the Olympic Summit, participants of which “strongly condemned those responsible for the manipulation of the data from the Moscow laboratory.”

“It was agreed that this was an attack on sport and that these actions should lead to the toughest sanctions against those responsible,” the IOC said in a statement.

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