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Mass media banned from WADA’s dispute with Russia in Swiss-based CAS next month

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne is expected to hear a debate between RUSADA and WADA in the period between November 2 and 5

MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) announced on Tuesday that hearings between the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) next month will not be public and will be closed for the mass media coverage.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne is expected to hear a debate between RUSADA and WADA in the period between November 2 and 5. Appointed judges in the CAS case between Russia’s RUSADA and WADA are Mark Williams (Australia), Luigi Fumagalli (Italy) and Hamid Gharavi (France).

"The hearing in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) arbitration procedure between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) will take place from 2-5 November 2020 with strict measures due to the current sanitary situation," according to an official statement from CAS. The statement added that there would be no access for "outside persons and no media briefings or press conferences" on behalf of the court in Lausanne.

"In light of the travel restrictions and sanitary measures in place in Switzerland and in the Canton of Vaud due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the hearing will take place in a secured location in Lausanne, in a mixed format with the parties, legal representatives and expert witnesses attending either in-person or by video-conference," the statement continued.

A spokesperson for RUSADA’s press office told TASS on Monday that the Swiss-based court would hold hearings on a dispute between WADA and RUSADA in a mixed format due to the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus.

"The hearing will not be public. For the above reasons, in-person access is strictly reserved to persons directly involved in the case," the statement from the court said. "There will be no access for outside persons and no media briefings or press conferences will be organized by the CAS."

"At the conclusion of the hearing on 5 November 2020, the Panel will commence its deliberations and prepare the Arbitral Award. Accordingly, the decision will not be announced when the hearing concludes, but at a later date," the European court’s statement added.

WADA-RUSADA hearings in CAS

Representatives of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) as well as a number of Russian athletes are taking part in the hearings in CAS as a third party.

In November 2015, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ruled that RUSADA was non-compliant with its requirements. In November 2017, a session of WADA’s Foundation Board in Seoul decided on extending RUSADA’s status as an organization non-compliant with the international standards. At the same time, WADA noted Russia’s substantial progress in reinstating RUSADA’s membership in the global anti-doping body.

On December 9, 2019, 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 or be granted the right to host any major international sports tournament in this four-year period. Russian state officials, as well as the officials 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.

The RUSADA Supervisory Board recommended on December 19, 2019 the agency’s Founder Board to disagree with WADA’s sanctions against Russian sports and to take this case to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne. On December 27, RUSADA sent an official notification of its disagreement to WADA and the global anti-doping body turned this case over to the Swiss-based court.