Russia to appeal against ruling that triggered four-year sport bans

By Sports Desk December 19, 2019

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) will appeal against a ruling that has led to the country being banned from global sporting events for four years.

RUSADA was declared non-compliant with World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] standards over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

Athletes will not be able to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games, while Russia's place at the 2022 World Cup is also in jeopardy.

WADA said on December 9 it had given Russia three weeks in which it could launch an appeal, and RUSADA supervisory board chairman Alexander Ivlev was quoted on Thursday as confirming there would be a challenge to the decision.

"I think it will be in the next 10-15 days," Ivlev said, according to Russia's TASS news agency. "Then the ball will be on the side of WADA, and the situation will develop in the legal field."

The case is set to be reviewed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Despite Russia's ban, individual athletes from the country are still set to be able to enter global competitions under a neutral flag, as was the case for 168 Russians at the 2018 Winter Olympics when the country was banned.

Russian president Vladimir Putin reiterated on Thursday his opposition to the punishment.

Speaking in his annual marathon news conference, Putin said: "With regard to WADA and the WADA decision, I believe that this is not only an unfair decision, but also not consistent with common sense and law."

Putin also said he was confident one global sporting event coming to Russia in 2022 would go ahead as planned.

"I think that the World Volleyball Championship will still be held in Russia, despite the decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency," he said.

"It seems to me we should calmly wait for the final decision, in particular the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in order to understand in what position we are in.

"But the Russian athletes were preparing and will prepare for all competitions."

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