The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) acknowledges the ruling today by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) for a period of two years and to impose significant consequences. This decision confirms in large part the recommendation made in November 2019 by WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC), which was unanimously accepted by the Agency’s Executive Committee (ExCo) on 9 December 2019.
Today’s CAS ruling is a clear endorsement of WADA’s assertion that data from the Moscow Laboratory were intentionally altered prior to and while they were being forensically copied by WADA Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) in January 2019 as part of Operation LIMS, in contravention of critical criteria set by the ExCo when RUSADA was reinstated as compliant, under strict conditions, in September 2018.
WADA President Witold Bańka said: “We are, however, disappointed that the CAS Panel did not endorse each and every one of our recommended consequences for the four-year period we requested. We believe they were proportionate and reasonable, but ultimately WADA is not the judge but the prosecutor and we must respect the decision of the Panel. These are still the strongest set of consequences ever imposed on any country for doping-related offences and the award clearly endorses the resolute, process-driven approach taken by WADA in dealing effectively with this case. Russia will not be permitted to participate in, bid for or host any covered event, including two editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and many other major events, for the next two years. The Russian flag will not fly nor its anthem played. This sends a clear message that institutionalized cheating and concerted efforts to subvert the global anti-doping system will not be tolerated.
“The egregious manipulation by the Russian authorities of data retrieved by WADA Intelligence and Investigations from the Moscow Laboratory was the latest in a long list of offences and it has led today to significant consequences for the authorities. Russian authorities were afforded every opportunity to get their house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of their athletes and the integrity of sport, but they chose instead to continue on their path of deception and denial.”