WADA claims 'landmark' victory after CAS Russian doping ruling

By: AFP      Published: 09:31 PM, 17 Dec, 2020
WADA claims 'landmark' victory after CAS Russian doping ruling

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Thursday proclaimed a "landmark" victory after a ruling that left Russia banned from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) halved WADA's four-year ban but that still means Russian teams will be excluded from international competitions for two years for violating anti-doping rules. 

"WADA is pleased to have won this landmark case," said WADA President Witold Banka, adding that the verdict has "clearly upheld our findings that the Russian authorities brazenly and illegally manipulated the Moscow Laboratory data in an effort to cover up an institutionalised doping scheme."

The ruling is the latest stage in a long-running battle between WADA and Russia.

In November 2015, WADA called for Russia to be banned from international competition, including from the 2016 Rio Olympics, until "state-sponsored" doping is eradicated.

In January 2019 Russia finally granted WADA access to data in the Moscow testing labs. 

The following December, WADA banned Russia for four years after finding some of that data had been manipulated.

Russia appealed and on Thursday CAS halved the ban.

"We are, however, disappointed that the CAS Panel did not endorse each and every one of our recommended consequences for the four-year period we requested. 

"We believe they were proportionate and reasonable," said the WADA chief.

But he added that WADA was satisfied that "Russia will not be permitted to participate in, bid for or host any covered event, including two editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and many other major events, for the next two years." 

"The Russian flag will not fly nor its anthem played. This sends a clear message that institutionalized cheating and concerted efforts to subvert the global anti-doping system will not be tolerated."