The Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency has decreed to annul Russia's right to host or bid to host major sporting events, including world championships and Olympic Games, for four years, Deputy General Director of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency Margarita Pakhnotskaya stated on Monday. The decision was made unanimously at a WADA Executive Committee meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Similarly, according to the decree, Russia loses its right to take part in such events. At the same time, Pakhnotskaya added that Russian athletes can participate at international sporting events provided they can prove they have not violated the international anti-doping code. However, according to the ruling, they would have to compete under a neutral status, which essentially bans the use of the Russian flag and hymn at competitions.
On top of this, the decision bans Russian sports officials, including members of Russia’s Olympic and Paralympic committees, from attending the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo and Beijing, in 2020 and 2022, respectively.
However, WADA later clarified in a release that the recommendations will not cover the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne.
Deputy General Director of RUSADA added that the Supervisory Board of the agency will hold a meeting on 19 December to discuss the decision made by the international anti-doping body.
Meanwhile, the president of WADA, Craig Reedie, said that a decisive response was needed over the "blatant violation" of RUSADA’s reinstatement terms by Russian authorities.
"For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA's reinstatement conditions, approved by the ExCo in September 2018, demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today. Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial", Reedie said, as quoted in the agency's press release.
In 2015, WADA launched compliance proceedings against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) accusing the latter of a large-scale state-funded doping scheme involving thousands of athletes, coaches and sports officials. Russia denied the claims but the country's athletes were forced to compete under the Olympic flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
In September 2018, the ban was lifted but RUSADA was required to offer WADA access to the database of Russian athlete records.
In September 2019 another non-compliance procedure was launched against RUSADA over suspected data manipulation. Russia was given three weeks to explain "inconsistencies" found in probes previously received from the Russian laboratories. Moscow submitted its answers to the agency in early October. After examining the data provided by Moscow, WADA said that some of the records had likely been 'altered.'
Most recently, WADA’s Compliance Review Committee recommended to the Executive Committee several punitive measures against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), saying that Russia should not have the right to host any editions of major sports events for four years.