Olympics

Russia appeals four-year doping ban

Kyodo

Russia’s anti-doping agency RUSADA will appeal the four-year ban from major sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics handed to the country over allegations of state-sponsored doping and repeated cover-up attempts, Tass news agency reported Thursday.

RUSADA’s supervisory committee decided Thursday to file an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the ruling by the World Anti-Doping Agency that bars Russia’s flag and anthem from competitions including the Olympics and soccer’s World Cup, Tass said.

WADA slapped Russia with the penalty on Dec. 9, saying individual athletes cleared of doping would be able to participate in the Tokyo Olympics, as was the case at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday reiterated his opinion that the WADA ban was politically motivated.

“The WADA decision contradicts the Olympic Charter,” Putin said.

The decision to hand Russia the ban was announced by WADA’s executive committee, who met in Lausanne, Switzerland, to consider the recommendation of the Compliance Review Committee with regards to RUSADA.

WADA said the CRC had recommended strong sanctions, including a four-year ban from major international sporting events that would deny Russia the use of its flag and anthem at the Tokyo Games and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

The announcement was part of the formal procedure opened by WADA on Sept. 17 because of “inconsistencies found in some of the data that was retrieved by WADA from the Moscow Laboratory in January 2019.”

WADA expects CAS’s final judgment in March or April next year.

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