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Russia’s anti-doping chief sees no legal grounds to dispute WADA’s decision on sanctions

Earlier, the WADA Compliance Review Committee recommended the Executive Committee to bar Russia from international competitions for a four-year period

MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) sees no legal grounds to challenge a possible decision by the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to impose sanctions on Russian sports, RUSADA President Yuri Ganus told TASS on Tuesday.

The WADA Compliance Review Committee recommended the world anti-doping body’s Executive Committee on Monday to bar Russia from international competitions for a four-year period. The Committee also issued a recommendation to deprive Russia of the right to host international sport events during this period. The WADA Executive Committee will pass a final decision on Russia at its meeting on December 9 in Paris. Only RUSADA is vested with the right to challenge sanctions.

"RUSADA sees no legal grounds to dispute such decisions by the WADA Executive Committee because they comply with consequences of the international standard of compliance by the signatories. The deprivation of RUSADA’s compliance status is of technical nature, [it took place] due to the failure to meet one of the criteria for maintaining RUSADA’s conditional compliance," Ganus said.

"Let me remind you that RUSADA was granted conditional and not unconditional compliance. And the first essential requirement linked with the transfer of the database unaltered has not been fulfilled. The experts working for the sports authorities failed to provide clear and reasonable explanations on inconsistencies and this was important. This served as the cause for technical non-compliance and there are no grounds to dispute it," he added.

RUSADA may be stripped of its compliance status on December 9 due to inconsistencies found in the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory data transferred to WADA.

WADA announced on September 23 that it had initiated a probe into the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency with the Code of the world’s governing anti-doping body based on the inconsistencies reportedly discovered in the data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.

The WADA Executive Committee reinstated the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency on September 20, 2018 on condition that WADA experts would be granted access before December 31, 2018 to doping samples at the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab, which was sealed off in connection with a federal investigation.

Specialists from WADA were granted access to the database of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory in January this year and copied 24 terabytes of information on Russian athletes’ doping samples collected between 2012 and 2015. WADA experts finished their work to retrieve doping samples from the Moscow Lab on April 30 having collected 2,262 doping samples in 4,524 containers (Samples A and B).

The new international standard on the compliance status states that athletes coming from countries where national anti-doping agencies are non-compliant with the WADA Code may be barred from all international tournaments, including the Olympic Games.