Ban Russia for four more years, says WADA
A World Anti-Doping Agency panel has called for Russian athletes to be banned from competing under their own flag for four years.
It follows an investigation into the data handed over by the Moscow laboratory in January as part of the reintegration process of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency following the state-sponsored doping scandal that was exposed four years ago.
The compliance review committee claims that data on hundreds of positive tests were removed, and they are now recommending Russian athletes be forced to compete as vetted neutrals at next year’s Tokyo Olympics and other events.
WADA’s executive committee will rule on the recommendations on December 9.
Russia was officially banned from the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang last year, forcing 168 approved athletes to compete as neutrals.
Under the recommendation, Russians would have to compete as neutrals in Tokyo and also at the next Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022. Further implications could affect Russia’s ability to stage other sporting events, with the panel recommending the country be stripped of events already awarded ‘unless it is legally or practically impossible to do so’.
For instance, St Petersburg is due to host four games at next year’s UEFA European Championship.
The panel also claimed the most recent edits to the lab data were made in December 2018 and January this year — after Russia had agreed to hand over the data.
‘These activities were concealed by backdating of computer systems and data files in an attempt to make it appear that the Moscow data had been in their current state since 2015,’ WADA said in a statement.
No names have been released of any athletes involved.
The panel recommendation comes just days after the president of Russia’s athletics federation was charged with breaches of anti-doping rules by the Athletics Integrity Unit.
RusAF president Dmitry Shlyakhtin, as well as executive director Alexander Parkin, were among the senior officials placed under provisional suspension after an investigation by the AIU into the ‘whereabouts’ violations of high jumper Danil Lysenko.Daily Mail