Sports

WADA TERMS CAS DECISION TO REINSTATE MEDALS TO 28 RUSSIANS 'A BIG SETBACK'

February 07, 2018 11:54 AM

LAUSANNE (SWITZERLAND)

The World Anti-Doping Agency Athlete Committee has expressed " profound disappointment and dismay with the recent ruling by Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to reinstate the medals and results of 28 Russian Winter Olympians from Sochi, previously disqualified for doping offences." 

In a statement issued on Tuesday, WADA Athlete Committee Chair Beckie Scott said "We share the distress, uncertainty and frustration expressed by many athletes on the news of this ruling and believe this decision to be a massive setback for clean sport. 

"We stand by and renew our call (made 9 August 2017, London, UK) for “the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to improve and strengthen its independence and continually strive to increase the quality of its arbitrators”. 

"We cannot lose sight of the extent nor the scale of the efforts that Russian authorities and athletes engaged in to cheat the anti-doping system. Thus, we call for stronger leadership from sport to protect clean athletes and their right to doping-free sport. 

"It is vital that athletes, countries, teams and officials that cheat be held fully accountable and sanctioned accordingly. For this reason, we call for a transparent and comprehensive review of how the McLaren reports of the doping conspiracy in Russia were handled. We welcome a thorough discussion on this topic at the next WADA Foundation Board meeting." 

Meanwhile, in Lausanne (Switzerland), the Ad hoc Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has opened an arbitration procedure following an urgent application filed by 32 Russian athletes (the Applicants) against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) (the Respondent). The Applicants challenge the IOC decision refusing to invite them to participate in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. 

They request that CAS overturn the IOC decision and allow them to participate in these Games as Olympic Athletes from Russia. 

The applicants are Victor Ahn, Vladimir Grigorev, Anton Shipulin, Evgeniy Garanichev, Ruslan Murashov, Ekaterina Shikhova, Sergei Ustyugov, Ksenia Stolbova, Ekaterina Urlova-Percht, Maksim Tcvetkov, Irina Uslugina, Yulia Shokshueva, Daria Virolainen, Dmitri Popov, Roman Koshelev, Mikhail Naumenkov, Alexei Bereglasov, Valeri Nichushkin, Anton Belov, Sergei Plotnikov, Evgeniya Zakharova, Ruslan Zakharov, Anna Iurakova, Alexey Esin, Yulia Skokova, Elizaveta Kazelina, Sergey Gryaztsov, Ivan Bukin, Denis Arapetyan, Artem Kozlov, Gleb Retivikh, Alexey Volkov. 

A Panel of arbitrators comprising Ms Carol Roberts (Canada), President, Mr Bernhard Welten (Switzerland), arbitrator and Ms Zali Steggall (Australia) arbitrator  has been constituted 

The parties are exchanging written submissions and a hearing is likely to be held today.Earlier, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) noted with serious concern the decisions by the (CAS), relating to the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, to uphold the appeals of 28 Russian athletes while also essentially rejecting the appeals of 11 others against suspensions issued by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for anti-doping rule violations when all 39 athletes were part of Russia’s systemic doping program.

 "WADA understands that this decision will cause dismay and frustration among athletes. The Agency supports the IOC’s intention to analyze these decisions very carefully and consider all options, including an appeal to the Swiss Federal Tribunal. 

"The fact that the appeals by 11 athletes were rejected by CAS confirms the findings of the IOC’s Schmid Commission, which was formed in July 2016 to investigate Russia’s systemic manipulation of the doping control process. This manipulation had been exposed by the WADA-commissioned independent McLaren Investigation Parts I and II. 

The McLaren Investigations, the mandate of which was to confirm institutionalized manipulation of the doping control process, have been confirmed once again. 

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