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‘Anti-Russia hysteria got chronic’: PM Medvedev slams WADA ban on Russian athletes

‘Anti-Russia hysteria got chronic’: PM Medvedev slams WADA ban on Russian athletes
WADA’s decision to ban Russia from the Olympics and all major sports events for four years is the offshoot of anti-Russia hysteria, PM Dmitry Medvedev has said, calling on the authorities to challenge the decision in court.

The blanket ban on Russian athletes appears to be a continuation of today’s geopolitics, gripped by the ‘Russia scare’ for quite some time, the Prime Minister said Monday. He pointed to the persistent attempts to punish the country and its athletes.

“The fact that such decisions are taken repeatedly – and often in relation to the athletes who have already been punished one way or another – suggests that this is the continuation of the anti-Russian hysteria, which has already got into a chronic form,” he said.

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Russian sports have had issues with doping, which are “impossible to deny,” Medvedev admitted. But WADA’s harsh decision on Monday should be appealed, the PM said, calling upon the officials and organizations overseeing professional sports to challenge it in court.

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s executive committee voted unanimously to declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant, and banned the country from the Olympic Games and world championships for four years. The ban follows allegations that data, provided to WADA by a Moscow anti-doping lab early this year, had been tampered with.

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RUSADA has 21 days to challenge the ban. Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said they will file an appeal.

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