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WADA to receive Russia’s letter of disagreement with sanctions by December 31

On Tuesday, participants in the RUSADA General Meeting unanimously approved a recommendation of the agency’s Supervisory Board to issue a disagreement with sanctions against Russian sports proposed by WADA
RUSADA Director General Yury Ganus  Gavriil Grigorov/TASS
RUSADA Director General Yury Ganus
© Gavriil Grigorov/TASS

MOSCOW, December 27. /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will receive by December 31 a package of documents from the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on the disagreement with sanctions against Russian sports, RUSADA Director General Yury Ganus said on Friday.

On December 19, the RUSADA Supervisory Board recommended the agency’s Founders Council to disagree with WADA (the World Anti-Doping Agency) sanctions against Russian sports and to take this case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne. Earlier in the day, RUSADA sent an official notification of its disagreement to WADA and the global anti-doping body will now have to submit this case with the Swiss-based court.

"DHL [delivery service] informed us that the package of documents would be delivered directly to the office of WADA before December 31. WADA has already received a notification about the delivery dates," Ganus told journalists.

"The package of documents will be further processed and submitted to the court, which will be setting up a panel of judges," Ganus continued. "We believe that the hearings on the case will be over in April or May, if no complicated technical expertise is required."

Fulfilling all requirements

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has met all instructions issued to the agency’s Founders Council, according to Yury Ganus. "As of now, we have fulfilled all requirements set by our Founders Council," Ganus told journalists. "We have timely sent a package of documents to WADA and the package contained a notice of the disagreement in line with all standard procedures."

"Since there was no possibility of introducing changes to the letter, I decided that I had to attach an accompanying letter, in which I had disclosed my personal stance on the issue," he said.

"As the head of the national anti-doping agency I had to inform our sports authorities about all possible consequences," Ganus continued. "We have also attached a letter from ethics officers and a fourth document, which was a protocol of the General Meeting, which made the decision."

On Tuesday, participants in the RUSADA General Meeting unanimously approved a recommendation of the agency’s Supervisory Board to issue a disagreement with sanctions against Russian sports proposed by WADA.

According to Ganus, the court in Switzerland may introduce tougher sanctions against Russian sports as the hearings on the case start.

"My stance is defined by risks, which are very substantial," he said. "Firstly, it will be a public hearing. Secondly — it is most important and probable — there will be a chance of new players appearing in the case and they may demand to toughen sanctions instead of easing them."

"You all are well aware of the opinion of many sides, which expressed their dissatisfaction with the WADA decision," he said. "This is why they will have the right to enter the case and, based on the whole doping story that we currently have, to request tougher sanctions. We speak here about a possible ban of all our athletes from major international competitions."

Earlier this month, WADA Vice President Linda Helleland expressed her dissatisfaction with the list of proposed WADA sanctions as she had been insisting on the so-called blanket ban for Russian athletes. Her position found the support of a number of Western anti-doping bodies and some sports organizations.

In his accompanying letter to the package of documents, sent to WADA today, Ganus said he disapproved of the decisions made by the agency’s Supervisory Board and the Founders Council, according to the press service of the agency.

"By maintaining a stance of criticism toward the decisions of the Supervisory Board and the Founders Council and in regard to possible risks without any possibility of influencing these decisions, I believe I must say that it is critically important to use in the course of international cooperation and, moreover, during the investigations, the principles of integrity, transparency and trust, which new RUSADA uses as a platform for its work," Ganus stated.

"I must say with deep regret that all of my attempts, including attempts to introduce changes to the letter of RUSADA, have failed," he said. "I must assure you that RUSADA will continue its work in full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and will fulfill its mission on the protection of athletes’ rights for the participation in international tournaments without doping."

"I hope for cooperation with you in the future in the interests of sports without doping in the world," he added.

On December 9, the WADA Executive Committee (ExCo) approved the recommendations of its Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to revoke the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and to strip Russia of the right to participate in major international sports tournaments, including the Olympics, Paralympics and world championships, for a period of four years.

The WADA ExCo also ruled that Russia must not host, or bid for hosting any major international sports tournament in this four-year period. Russian state officials, as well as the staff of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), were banned from attending all major international sports tournaments for this four-year period.

On November 25, the WADA Compliance Review Committee (CRC) reiterated its previous recommendation for the world anti-doping body’s Executive Committee to strip RUSADA of its compliance status and came up with a recommendation of additional sanctions against Russian sports.

The world’s governing anti-doping body announced on September 23 that it had initiated a probe into the compliance status of RUSADA with the organization’s Code based on inconsistencies found in the data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.

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).