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Putin orders Sports Ministry to settle reinstatement issues with WADA and World Athletics

The Russian Sports Ministry is now set to present a report regarding RUSADA’s reinstatement process before March 30, 2022, as well as a report on RusAF’s membership reinstatement progress before December 26, 2022

MOSCOW, October 8. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin ruled on Friday that the Russian Sports Ministry as well as all of the involved national sports organizations must resort to measures aimed at the reinstatement of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) with WADA and of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) with World Athletics.

The Russian Sports Ministry is now set to present a report regarding RUSADA’s reinstatement process before March 30, 2022 as well as a report on RusAF’s membership reinstatement progress before December 26, 2022.

RUSADA-WADA case

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland’s Lausanne upheld on December 17, 2020 WADA’s (the World Anti-Doping Agency) previous ruling on a number of sanctions against Russian sports.

In particular, CAS upheld WADA’s decision to declare RUSADA as non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. The court, however, ruled to cut the previously proposed four-year term of sanctions to the period of two years.

The Swiss-based court said in a statement on December 17 that the CAS Panel "unanimously determined RUSADA to be non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) in connection with its failure to procure the delivery of the authentic LIMS data (Laboratory Information Management System) and underlying analytical data of the former Moscow Laboratory to WADA" in the period between 2012 and 2015. The Russian authorities deny accusations of manipulation.

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 were deprived of their right to participate in all World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games under the national flag of Russia for the 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.

World Athletics and RusAF

World Athletics, suspended RusAF’s membership in November 2015, following a wave of anti-doping rules violations and formed a special mission on the issue. World Athletics, however, allowed clean athletes from Russia to participate in international tournaments under the neutral status or the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) until the membership of the RusAF is reinstated. The ANA status prohibits Russian athletes from participating in all international track and field tournaments under the national flag.

The World Athletics Council announced on November 22, 2019 its decision to suspend RusAF’s reinstatement process based on charges brought by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). According to World Athletics, the AIU charged RusAF on November 21, 2019 "with obstructing an investigation and provisionally suspended several senior federation officials for tampering and complicity."

The provisionally suspended senior officials at that time were then-President of RusAF Dmitry Shlyakhtin and several more high-ranking people from the federation for helping to falsify documents, which Russian high jumper Danil Lysenko presented as his excuse for skipping doping tests. Shlyakhtin submitted his letter of resignation on November 23.