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IOC to follow WADA’s rules regarding Russia’s participation in 2020 Summer Olympics

Russian athletes risk facing certain sanctions imposed by international sports federations due to reasons they had nothing to do with, the Russian Olympic Committee president believes

MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will be following the regulations of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) regarding the issue of Russia’s participation in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan, the IOC press office announced to TASS on Monday.

"According to the new WADA rules, effective as of April 2018, this process is conducted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the IOC fully respects this procedure," the IOC press office replied to a question whether the Russian national team would be allowed to take part in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo in case the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is stripped of its compliance status with the WADA Code.

President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) Stanislav Pozdnyakov believes for his part that Russian athletes risk facing certain sanctions imposed by international sports federations due to reasons they had nothing to do with.

On Monday, reports emerged that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had initiated consideration of the issue of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliance with the international organization’s code due to inconsistencies between the database of the Moscow anti-doping lab WADA has access to and the data it received in January 2019.

"Judging by the fact that the WADA Executive Committee has already initiated fast-track consideration of RUSADA’s status issue based on the Compliance Committee’s report, the situation is very serious," the ROC press service quoted Pozdnyakov as saying. "In a short time of three weeks, our organizations overseeing submissions of the database need to either conclusively disprove the accusations of any machinations on the Russian side or undertake thorough measures to identify persons involved in this case. Otherwise, along with the problem of RUSADA’s status and ramifications for our sports arising from that, the Russian national team’s prospects of taking part in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will be jeopardized."

"We have made a lot of diplomatic effort to restore trust of the international sports community and the Russian athletes’ rights to compete at Olympic events without any restrictions. However, we are now again running the risk of facing certain sanctions due to reasons we had nothing to do with," the ROC press service quoted Pozdnyakov as saying.

RUSADA was reinstated last September after fulfilling a number of conditions. The Russian side was obliged to provide WADA with access to original database of the Moscow lab containing information on Russian athletes’ checks and doping samples given between 2012 and 2015.

Russia submitted all the necessary data to WADA, however, the conditions laid out that the requirements would be considered fulfilled only if the integrity of the database was confirmed. Currently, doubts have been raised about that, which prompts WADA to initiate consideration of RUSADA’s non-compliance issue with the international code.

RUSADA was seeking reinstatement for almost three years — since November 2015. Back then, the organization was stripped of its compliance status following a doping scandal around the Russian athletics. The ban was repeatedly reinstated in line with the investigation led by a WADA independent commission spearheaded by Richard McLaren.