Putin says Russia has every reason to appeal against sports ban

by BERNAMA / pic by BLOOMBERG

PARIS — Russian President Vladimir Putin (picture) said here Monday the ruling by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ban Russia from international sporting events for four years violates the Olympic charter and Russia has every reason to go to court, Xinhua news agency reported.

“The fact that the (WADA’s) decision applies collectively to all Russian athletes proves that it is politicised,” said Putin when answering a question at a joint press conference with French, German and Ukrainian leaders following the Normandy Four summit on the eastern Ukraine conflict.

“Punishment cannot be of a collective nature and applies to people who have nothing to do with certain violations. WADA contradicts the Olympic charter and we have every reason to go to court,” he said.

Earlier on Monday, WADA’s Executive Committee unanimously endorsed the recommendation by the independent Compliance Review Committee that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, RUSADA, be declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code for a period of four years.

The move will prevent Russia from having any formal presence at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

RUSADA will have three weeks to appeal WADA’s decision. The Court of Arbitration for Sport would be responsible for hearing an appeal, if one went ahead.

According to the WADA ruling, over the next four years, only “clean” Russian athletes with the neccessary medical proof will be allowed to participate in major sports events, and even then they will not be able to represent Russia. Russia will also be banned from hosting any major sports events.

Russia was banned by the International Olympic Committee from last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for alleged state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. But some Russian athletes with no history of doping were cleared to compete as neutral participants.