Wada wants public hearing of Russia dope case

MONTREAL • The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) said on Monday it has asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for a public hearing on its case for Russia's exclusion from international sporting competitions.

At stake in the hearing will be the fate of Russian athletes hoping to compete in events such as this year's Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the 2022 football World Cup.

Wada director general Olivier Niggli said his group made the formal request for a public forum to ensure the world hears the case from both sides and understands how punishment, if any, is administered.

"It is Wada's view - and that of many of our stakeholders - that this dispute at CAS should be held in a public forum to ensure that everybody understands the process and hears the arguments," he said.

Wada sent its case against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) to CAS, the world's highest sports court, last month.

It will be a CAS panel that must decide whether to confirm the four-year ban Wada imposed on Russia last month after considering Russia's case against the sanction.

Wada had imposed the ban over what it considers a state-sponsored doping scheme - prohibiting Russia from participating in international sporting events.

Wada says Russia "manipulated" data from an anti-doping laboratory in Moscow in the latest move of a long-running scandal that began with the 2015 revelation of long-term institutional doping involving senior Russian officials.

Under the sanctions, Russian athletes would be allowed to compete in Tokyo only if they can demonstrate they were not part of the doping network - the same situation they faced at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.


Rusada disputed the Wada executive committee ban on Dec 27.

Meanwhile, the entire board of Russia's athletics federation has resigned as the government attempts to find a way out of the country's deepening doping crisis.

The federation (Rusaf) and the Russian sports ministry announced late on Monday that the board was handing over its powers to a working group within the Russian Olympic Committee.

The decision has been made "as Rusaf activities have not led to the reinstatement of the federation in World Athletics", and to "ensure participation of clean Russian athletes in international and Russian competition", the joint statement said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 05, 2020, with the headline 'Wada wants public hearing of Russia dope case'. Subscribe