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Russian Olympic Committee accepts RUSADA’s decision against appealing CAS ruling

The committee president said that consultations with lawyers regarding the organization’s next steps continue

MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) treats with understanding a decision of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) not to appeal a ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in regard to Russian sports, ROC President Stanislav Pozdnyakov said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Swiss-based CAS ruled on December 17, 2020 to partially uphold the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) lawsuit against RUSADA and stripped the agency of its compliance status with the World Anti-Doping Code.

In late December, ROC President Pozdnyakov told TASS that CAS made procedural violations, which were reported by lawyers. The ROC president also announced plans at that time to file an appeal against these violations at the court of cassation.

The Russian Olympic Committee and the Russian Paralympic Committee participated in the court debate between RUSADA and WADA as third parties. RUSADA announced on January 25 that it decided not to file an appeal against the CAS decision.

"The Russian Olympic Committee respects RUSADA’s position not to appeal the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) following court hearings between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and RUSADA," Pozdnyakov stated.

"In fact, despite the CAS verdict on ruling the Russian Anti-Doping Agency non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code, it continues to carry out its operational activities in full and is in working contact with WADA as part of conducting work to remove restrictions paving the way for official reinstatement," he said.

"As for the Russian Olympic Committee, which acted as a third party in this arbitration process, we have repeatedly emphasized that we consider the sanctions and restrictive measures imposed by CAS to be unfair," Pozdnyakov continued. "At the same time, I would like to once again draw your attention to the fact that the arbitrators of CAS directly pointed out that no claims or accusations were made against the Russian Olympic Committee, the national sports federations or athletes."

"Furthermore, there is no clear and comprehensive procedure for implementing all the points laid out by CAS. This, in fact, shifts the responsibility for the integrity and proportionality of such implementation - in each individual case - to the IOC, the international sports federations, organizing committees and host parties," the ROC president stated.

ROC maintains consultations with lawyers

Pozdnyakov also said that the Russian Olympic Committee continues holding consultations with lawyers regarding the organization’s next steps.

"Since the announcement of the final decision by CAS, we have constantly consulted with legal advisers, lawyers and our partners about the next steps and actions in the legal and practical sphere," he said. "At the same time, we are guided, first of all, by the interests of our athletes, ensuring equal conditions and the procedure for their performance at major international competitions."

"At the moment, we proceed from the expediency of focusing efforts on ensuring the practical implementation of the ruling by CAS," Pozdnyakov noted. "First of all, in situations where broad interpretation may negatively affect or unreasonably violate the legal rights and interests of representatives of the Russian side," he stated."In particular, the Russian Olympic Committee, which is responsible for forming the composition of our Olympic teams for all Olympic competitions."

"We have already noted that in each case the organizers offer different options. In this regard, there is painstaking work ahead for the parties involved in each specific case. Of course, if our legitimate rights and interests are violated, then we will be ready to use the full range of available measures for legal protection - each case will be dealt with separately," the ROC president added.

CAS held hearings on a legal debate between RUSADA and WADA in the period between November 2 and 5, 2020. Appointed judges in the CAS case between RUSADA and WADA were Mark Williams (Australia), Luigi Fumagalli (Italy) and Hamid Gharavi (France).

According to the CAS decision as of December 17, 2020, Russian athletes are deprived of the right to participate in all world championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games under the national flag of Russia for a two-year period.

The national anthem of Russia was also ruled out to be played at international sport tournaments in the course of the next two years, including at the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan this year.

The ruling of the Swiss-based court also stripped Russia of the right to bid for the organization of all international sports tournaments for the period of two years. WADA’s sanctions will be in force until December 2022.