The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) wants the hearing on Russia's appeal against a ruling denying them to compete as a nation at big sports events to be held in public. Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP Photo

BERLIN  The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) wants the hearing on Russia's appeal against a ruling denying them to compete as a nation at big sports events to be held in public.

WADA in December banned Russia from competing with its national symbols at Olympics and major championships for four years because Russia tampered with and manipulated data from the Moscow lab before handing it over to WADA last year.

The case against Russia's agency RUSADA is now before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), and WADA said in a statement late Monday it has formally requested a public hearing.

"WADA's investigations on Russia, and this latest case of non-compliance, have generated huge interest around the world," WADA director general Olivier Niggli said.

"It is WADA's view - and that of many of our stakeholders - that this dispute at CAS should be held in a public forum to ensure that everybody understands the process and hears the arguments."

SO far there have only been two public hearings in CAS arbitration case - Dutch swimmer Michelle Smith de Bruin v the ruling body FINA in 1999, and last year WADA v FINA and Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.

RUSADA has also backed the idea of a public hearing, with its deputy director general Margarita Pakhnotskaya quoted as saying that "hearings into the RUSADA-WADA case in Lausanne must be open, since we are speaking here about a future verdict on clean sports."

dpa