MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Russian athletes have decided to get involved en masse in the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) appeal against the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decision to impose sanctions on the Russian sports filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) as third parties, TASS was told by different Russian sports federations.
Six members of the Russian Wrestling Federation will have their say in the case. "The Russian wrestling will be represented at CAS by freestyle wrestlers Igor Ovsiannikov, Nachyn Kuular, Valeria Koblova and Elizaveta Sorokina as well as Greco-Roman wrestlers Ilya Borisov and Danila Sotnikov," the federation said.
Olympic fencing champions Sofya Velikaya, Yana Egorian and Inna Deriglazova also decided to enter the appeal, the Russian Fencing Federation said. "Fencers at CAS will be represented by Velikaya, Egorian and Deriglazova," the fencing body informed.
Recently crowned world artistic gymnastics champions Artur Dalaloyan and Nikita Nagornyy as well as silver medalist at the 2019 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Lilia Akhaimova also intend to take part in the hearing as third parties. "Dalaloyan, Nagornyy and Akhaimova want to join the case between WADA and RUSADA," the Russian Artistic Gymnastics Federation told TASS.
Moreover, silver medalist at the 2016 Olympics’ women’s team archery event Inna Stepanova and her teammates Elena Osipova and Sayana Li are also joining the appeal.
In addition, five rowers, four swimmers, three kayakers and canoeists and a few judokas also expressed their intent to act as third parties in the hearing.
Meanwhile, the Russian Biathlon Union (RBU) said that it was joining the legal proceedings as a whole unit. "We will try our best to join the process as a third party," the union commented. Similarly, the Russian Ski Association (combines a number of federations of ski-related sports) announced that it would fight for its athletes at CAS as a whole. "We are going to CAS as the Russian Ski Association, we do not see much point in going there separately. The association is recognized internationally by FIS [International Ski Federation — TASS]," President of the Cross Country Ski Federation Elena Vyalbe informed.
On December 9, 2019, WADA’s Executive Committee unilaterally voted to strip RUSADA of its compliance status and impose sanctions on the Russian sports after manipulations with Moscow Laboratory doping samples containing tests taken by athletes in 2012-2015 emerged. According to the sanctions adopted, Russia loses the right to host major sporting events or bid to hold them for four years, while Russian athletes are deprived of opportunity to compete at world championships, Olympics and Paralympics representing Russia. In late December, RUSADA disagreed with WADA’s decision saying that it would be appealed at CAS.
On January 9, WADA referred the case to CAS which is set to have its final say in the legal proceedings and whose decision cannot be appealed. Last week, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Paralympic Committee (RPC) joined the appeal as third parties as well as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) by submitting relevant notices. They entered the process using their right to do so as organizations directly affected by the WADA decision. Russian athletes also joined the CAS hearing for this reason.