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30 Dec, 2020 17:34

‘We need to learn the lessons and move forward’: Russian Sports Minister Matytsin hopes ‘page will be turned’ after Olympic ban

‘We need to learn the lessons and move forward’: Russian Sports Minister Matytsin hopes ‘page will be turned’ after Olympic ban

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has assessed the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to impose a two-year ban on Russia, stressing that the sanctions could have been far tougher.

Reflecting on the year, the Russian sports official concluded that, despite two years of strict measures, the country's sport should continue to develop and learn lessons from its past.

Matytsin hailed the CAS decision not to implement a blanket ban on the entire team, emphasizing that Russian athletes will be allowed to perform on the international circuit. 

The sanctions have negatively impacted and will impact our athletes. They restrict Russia’s rights to host international sporting events,” Matytsin told RT Sport.

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But it’s of great importance that the CAS considered our arguments and [declined] to enforce collective responsibility.

"Russian athletes will be allowed to take part in competitions on an equal basis. Those restrictions cover just Olympic Games and world championships. WADA had offered to include all major international competitions on the list.”

Undoubtedly, the ban on using national symbols is very insulting and painful, but nevertheless Russian athletes will be allowed to have a ‘Russia’ caption on their uniform,” he added.

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The head of Russia’s Sports Ministry said the CAS sanctions turned out to be far milder than had been initially demanded by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), adding that Russia needed to “turn this page” and move forward, learning the lessons of the past.

I do hope that this page will soon be turned," he said. "Russian sport is self-reliant. We are set to hold multiple international events which our country was awarded to host,” the minister said.

We just need to learn the lessons of the past and move forward. We need to stay open and continue working on a professional level.

"RUSADA has been considered one of the top doping testing agencies in the world. Of course, initially we didn’t have any sanctions at all

"But if we compare the CAS decision with WADA’s proposals, we can see that the court took quite a milder stance.”

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