Russia confirm appeal against Wada ban over alleged laboratory data manipulation

Jamie Gardner
The Independent
Rusada head Yuri Ganus confirms Russia will appeal their ban: AP
Rusada head Yuri Ganus confirms Russia will appeal their ban: AP

Russia has formally appealed against a four-year international competition ban and other sanctions imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency over allegations that laboratory data was manipulated.

The WADA executive committee announced on December 9 that it endorsed recommendations from its independent compliance review committee to declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) non-compliant with its code and block Russian teams from competing in global sporting events such as the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games and the 2022 football World Cup.

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Under the sanctions Russia is also barred from hosting international sporting events, and only Russian athletes who can prove they are not implicated in the non-compliance will be permitted to compete.

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In a letter addressed to WADA's director general Olivier Niggli dated December 27, RUSADA secretary general Yuri Ganus wrote: "RUSADA herewith disputes the notice in its entirety, including WADA's assertion of non-compliance, the (alleged) facts on which such assertion is based, as well as the sanctions and reinstatement conditions set out in the notice, all of which are unfounded."

WADA investigators found that Moscow laboratory data acquired in January 2019 which covered a period from January 2012 to August 2015 had been manipulated, in that some information which was present in data WADA obtained from a whistleblower in 2017 was missing from the 2019 files.

The data had been handed over to investigators as one of the conditions of Russia's reinstatement to compliance in September 2018.

Russian president Vladimir Putin had indicated his country had reason to appeal the day after WADA imposed the sanctions, saying in quotes reported by the TASS news agency: "Punishment cannot be collective and affect those people who have nothing to do with certain violations."

The case will now be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport next year. The court's decision will be binding.

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