Russia's Anti-Doping Agency confirms appeal against WADA's four-year competition ban

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has confirmed it will appeal a four-year suspension handed to the country by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Earlier this month, WADA banned Russian teams and athletes from competing under the country’s flag at global sporting events – including the 2020 Olympics and 2022 World Cup – over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

RUSADA was given 21 days to appeal the suspension, and the organisation has now confirmed it will take its case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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RUSADA secretary general Yuri Ganus addressed a letter to WADA director Olivier Niggli on December 27, which reads: “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.”

The case is now due to be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2020.

Should the sanction stay in place, individual Russian athletes will still be able to enter global competitions under a neutral flag, as was the case for 168 Russians at the 2018 Winter Olympics when the country was banned.

The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a “major event organisation”, so Russia will also be free to compete at Euro 2020.

Stanislav Cherchesov’s side have booked their spot in the finals, where St Petersburg is one of the host cities.

Russia finished runners up in Group I behind Belgium, after winning eight of their ten Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Russian president Vladimir Putin had previously suggested the country would appeal the ban, suggesting the sanctions were “political”.

Putin said: “Punishment cannot be collective and affect those people who have nothing to do with certain violations.”

Russia hosted last year’s World Cup and managed to reach the quarter-final stage for the first time since the breakup of the Soviet Union.


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