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IOC needs to think twice if WADA wins against RUSADA in Swiss court, says sports official

The Swiss-based court is expected to announce its verdict on the case before the end of the year

MOSCOW, November 17. /TASS/. The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) win in a Swiss-based CAS court trial against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) will be ‘the moment of truth’ for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), President of the Russian Cross-Country Ski Federation Yelena Vyalbe said on Tuesday.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne debated on a dispute between RUSADA and WADA in the period between November 2 and 5. The Swiss-based court is expected to announce its verdict on the case before the end of the year.

"The most deplorable scenario will see our country banned; we will be without the national flag and anthem, but we have been through all of this already and are now braced for everything," Vyalbe said on air of Russia’s Rossiya-24 television channel.

"I believe that it’s high time to wrap it up, to simply call it quits at some moment," she continued. "If Russia loses [the CAS hearing], it will become the moment of truth, because there will be nothing left to do for the International Olympic Committee [IOC] and all decisions will be made by WADA."

"The IOC must think twice now, but I believe that the truth will remain on our side," she 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 took part in the hearings in CAS as a third party this month.

Appointed judges in the CAS case between Russia’s RUSADA and WADA were Mark Williams (Australia), Luigi Fumagalli (Italy) and Hamid Gharavi (France).

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 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.

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 Sport (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.