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17 Jan, 2020 14:08

Russian Olympic Committee joins legal fight against 'unjust' 4-year WADA ban

Russian Olympic Committee joins legal fight against 'unjust' 4-year WADA ban

The Russian Olympic Committee has notified the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) of its intention to join the legal fight against the four-year ban handed to Russia by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

WADA slapped Russia with the ban – which covers major global events including the Olympic Games and football World Cup – at the end of 2019, over supposed manipulation of lab data provided to the organization by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA).

READ MORE: Russia banned from major sporting events for 4 years

Under the sanctions, which saw Russia declared non-compliant with the WADA Code – Russian athletes not implicated in previous doping accusations would only be allowed to compete as neutrals at world championships, with the nation’s flag and anthem banned.

Russian officials have condemned the decision as unjust and politically motivated, and are taking their case to CAS, which is sport’s highest court and is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Also on rt.com WADA petitions world’s highest sports court to resolve doping row with Russia

If CAS rejects that appeal, the WADA sanctions would come into effect.

However, the ROC has confirmed it will join the case as a third party to ensure that sanctions are not applied to Russian athletes and that they are allowed to compete at the Olympics under the Russian flag and in national colors.

The ROC believes that as an organization which has had no accusations levelled against it by WADA, it would contravene the rights of athletes for Russia to be banned from competing at the Games.  

WADA filed an official request with CAS on January 9, asking the court to resolve the dispute.