Yuriy Ganus has been removed as the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's (RUSADA) director general, prompting concerns over its independence from the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

RUSADA's supervisory board earlier this month recommended its founders - the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committee - dismiss Ganus, advice that was taken on Friday.

Deputy director general Margarita Pakhnotskaya and the supervisory board's independent international expert member Sergey Khrychikov resigned this week.

RUSADA's non-compliance case is pending before the Court of Arbitration for Sport after it appealed the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) four-year suspension of Russia from global sporting events.

WADA and the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) each responded to news of Ganus' removal with unease.

WADA, which previously said it was "extremely concerned" by the supervisory board's recommendation, said: "These developments reinforce the concerns expressed by WADA in its statement of August 5 in relation to the manner in which the founders reached the decision regarding Mr Ganus following a recommendation by RUSADA's supervisory board.

"[The developments] re-emphasise the critical importance for RUSADA to maintain its operational independence going forward.

"WADA is in contact with RUSADA and other relevant Russian authorities to get further clarifications on the latest developments."

It added: "It is a critical element of the World Anti-Doping Code that national anti-doping organisations, such as RUSADA, remain safe from interference in their operational decisions and activities in order to conduct their work independently and effectively.

"This is why the Compliance Review Committee made it a condition of RUSADA's reinstatement that WADA remains satisfied that RUSADA's independence is being respected and there is no improper outside interference with its operations."

iNADO said: "iNADO is deeply concerned by the control that the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committee exercise over RUSADA.

"This was made evident today in the dismissal of Yuriy Ganus as director general by these two organisations."

It added: "It is a clear conflict of interest when sport organisations have the power to remove the head of a national anti-doping agency unopposed."

French cyclist Nans Peters has sounded a warning that drug cheats could try to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic by juicing up in lockdown.

Peters made a major breakthrough with a maiden grand tour stage win on last year's Giro d'Italia, as well as finishing third in a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games test event.

The 26-year-old rides for the AG2R La Mondiale team and says his last test stemming from the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) ADAMS whereabouts system took place on October 7 last year.

He reported having a cortisolemia check carried out by the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) union in March at the Paris-Nice race, but pointed out only certain teams belong and submit to testing by that body.

Like most sports, professional cycling has shut down during the COVID-19 crisis, with the Tour de France shunted back by two months to an August 29 start.

"What does it mean? Two options," wrote Peters on his personal website, considering the few doping checks he has been required to take.

"Either I have a profile that is not at all suspicious, which means I'm rarely tested, this is in effect the case since starting as a professional, where I was only checked three to four times a year.

"Or, and I'm very afraid of this, in this period of confinement there is no control!!!!!

"Let's not be naive, there is still doping, fortunately much less than in the years 1995 - 2005, but there will always be!

"Are cheaters free at the moment? It is as if we were told, 'Do you want to cheat? Well go for it! It's time, do what you want, take what you want, train like crazy at home now, you have until May 11 to get your engine going and crush everything when you return to competition'."

The Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation, which carries out testing in professional cycling, said in March it intended to be "continuing activities to protect clean cycling".

It said it would be following advice of WADA, which has said testing during the coronavirus period "will continue only where appropriate and possible".

Peters added: "I'm afraid for my sport, for my passion and for my end of the season facing mules!"

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah insists he would have no problem with any samples he has provided in doping tests being retested.

The British long-distance runner has for years had to contend with questions and insinuations surrounding his long association with the now-banned American coach Alberto Salazar.

Farah has always denied any wrongdoing and has never failed a drugs test, with the 36-year-old often running and winning under added pressure because of the focus that has been trained upon him.

Former World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) president Sir Craig Reedie, speaking while in office last year, signalled proposals that could see experts conduct new tests on old samples of the many athletes who worked with the disgraced Salazar.

Salazar strenuously denied breaking the rules but was found by the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) last year to have committed three violations associated with "orchestrating and facilitating prohibited doping conduct".

He received a four-year ban, with Nike then closing the Oregon Project training group that he led. Salazar has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the punishment.

It emerged last weekend that UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) intended to prevent previous samples provided by Farah or any athlete from being re-examined, unless "credible evidence" could be provided that pointed to the use of banned substances.

UKAD president Nicola Sapstead voiced concern that old samples could be damaged by being released for fresh testing; however, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency - no stranger to controversy - has urged the British authority to drop its reluctance.

Farah has been a bystander during this exchange of views, but the six-time world champion would be open to his samples being looked at again.

That is a point he also made in the immediate wake of Salazar being banned.

Farah wrote on Twitter: "I've seen reports of my name in connection to UKAD and WADA about sample retesting.

"Just to be clear, I was not consulted about this and as I've said many times, I am happy for any anti-doping body to test any of my previous samples anytime."

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has confirmed it will appeal a four-year suspension handed to the country by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Earlier this month, WADA banned Russian teams and athletes from competing under the country's flag at global sporting events – including the 2020 Olympics and 2022 World Cup – over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

RUSADA was given 21 days to appeal the suspension, and the organisation has now confirmed it will take its case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Should the sanction stay in place, individual Russian athletes will still 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.

The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation", so Russia will also be free to compete at Euro 2020.

Stanislav Cherchesov's side have qualified for the finals, where St Petersburg is one of the host cities.

Russian president Vladimir Putin had previously suggested the country would appeal the ban, suggesting the sanctions were "political".

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."

Mariya Lasitskene has criticised Russian authorities for their failure to protect the country's athletes after the World Anti-Doping Agency imposed a four-year ban on their participation in global events.

Russian athletes or teams will be unable to compete under their country's flag or anthem at worldwide sporting competitions over the next four years.

This suspension means Russia are set to have no representatives at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as the 2022 World Cup.

President Vladimir Putin suggested on Tuesday that Russia have grounds to appeal the proposed sanctions, which relate to the tampering of test results taken from a Moscow laboratory this year.

However, Lasitskene - a three-time high jump world champion, who was unable to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics due to a blanket ban on Russian athletes put in place just prior to the event - has pinned the blame on Russia's Sports Ministry and Olympic Committee.

"I wonder, what exactly Russian Sports Ministry and Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) did over the last four years to protect me?" Lasitskene wrote in an open letter published on Russian sports website Championat.

"You have created numerous commissions, but I didn't find any reports containing results of their work. At the moment I don't have even a neutral status and I don't have an ability to receive it.

"Do you want me to personally sue Mr. Shlyahtin [Dmitri, president of the Russian Athletics Federation] whose actions led to the current situation?

"Okay I will consider this option. I have already missed one Olympic tournament and wasn't allowed to compete internationally for more than a year and a half. And it seems that it's not the limit. Who is responsible for that? Who will bring me back the lost time?"

Vladimir Putin believes Russia has grounds to appeal the four-year ban handed to them by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), a suspension he suggested had "political considerations."

WADA announced on Monday that Russia would be banned from competing at international sporting events for four years, with the country unable to field teams under their flag at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo or the 2022 World Cup.

Individual Russian athletes will still 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.

WADA's International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation", so Russia will also be free to compete at Euro 2020, for which they are one of the host nations.

Russia have been given 21 days to respond to the sanctions proposed by WADA, which relate to tampering with data obtained from a laboratory in Moscow this year, and president Putin suggested his country will be lodging an appeal, while also stating his belief that the ban is a political punishment, rather than a sporting one.

"First of all, we need to analyse this decision. Here is the obvious part, which I can see immediately. For example, there are no complaints to the National Olympic Committee. If there are no complaints, the country must be able to take part in competitions under the national flag, according to the Olympic Charter," Putin told a joint news conference following a Normandy format summit, in quotes reported on the Kremlin's official website.

"This means that this part of the WADA decision contradicts the Olympic Charter. Therefore, we have good reason to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"There are also some other arguments, but first our experts and lawyers should analyse everything so that we can talk with our partners competently. However, I believe that the main thing, and everyone seems to accept it, is that punishment must be individual and based on the acts committed by an individual.

"Punishment must not be collective, that is, applied to the persons who have no connection with a given crime. Everyone is aware of this. I believe that the WADA experts are aware of this as well.

"But if they take decisions on collective punishment, I think this is a reason to believe that these decisions do not seek to keep sports clean but are based on political considerations, which has nothing to do with the interests of sport and the Olympic Movement."

The World Ant-Doping Agency has banned Russia from all major sports for the next four years. Russia had time to clean up their act, but according to WADA, they have not done so. That being the case, has WADA done enough?

FIFA has made contact with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to clarify how Russia's ban from major international sporting events applies to football.

On Monday, WADA's Executive Committee endorsed a recommended four-year ban for Russia, with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) declared non-compliant again over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

The suspension means athletes will not be able to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games.

It would also appear to prevent Russia from entering the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, although WADA's International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation", so Stanislav Cherchesov's side will be free to compete at Euro 2020.

However, the Russian Football Union said it was hopeful football would not be impacted but it was waiting to hear from FIFA.

FIFA is yet to reveal its stance on the suspension but has confirmed to Omnisport it is in contact with WADA and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF).

"FIFA has taken note of the decision taken by WADA Executive Committee today," a FIFA spokesperson said.

"FIFA is in contact with WADA and ASOIF to clarify the extent of the decision in regards to football."

RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the suspension, which would see its case referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Jonathan Taylor, chair of the Compliance Review Committee that recommended the sanction, told a news conference: "It is the event that decides the world champion that is covered by the ban."

However, Taylor acknowledged each sport would be assessed on a "case-by-case basis".

"Let's be clear about the totality of this package. It's a four-year package and relates to a number of different things," he said. "In terms of participation, the standard is clear.

"There will be no flag at the events that are covered. There will not be a Russian flag and athletes will not be competing as representatives of Russia.

"The details from sport to sport will have to differ because some are team sports, some are individual sports. There is going to have to be a case-by-case basis.

"Nevertheless, what is important to note is that the standard says it is under the control and approval of WADA to ensure appropriate and standardised enforcement.

"That may, if there is a CAS case, be taken to CAS so it can see and endorse it itself.

"Can we be definitive now in every case as to what it will mean? No, but the standard is clear. They will not be there as representatives of Russia."

WADA president Craig Reedie said in a statement the body had delivered "a robust response".

"Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial," he said.

Other concerned parties, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), can also appeal to CAS if RUSADA chooses not to.

An appeal from the IOC, another Olympic committee or an international federation - such as FIFA - would have to come within 21 days of RUSADA accepting WADA's decision.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has reiterated its support for Russia's four-year ban from major international sporting events imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

WADA declared the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant again at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday 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 World Cup in Qatar is also in jeopardy.

The IOC had supported the recommended sanction last month and retained its stance following the announcement.

"The representatives of the Olympic Movement today [Monday] supported this unanimous decision in the WADA Executive Committee, which is in line with the statement made by the IOC Executive Board [on November 26] and endorsed by the Olympic Summit," a statement released to Omnisport read.

The IOC said in November it would "support the toughest sanctions against all those responsible for this manipulation".

It added: "With regard to the sanctions following this manipulation, we will still have to evaluate these in detail.

"The IOC emphasises that any sanctions should follow the rules of natural justice and respect human rights.

"Therefore, the IOC stresses that the guilty should be punished in the toughest way possible because of the seriousness of this infringement and thus welcomes the sanctions for the Russian authorities responsible."

WADA's statement on Monday said: "The WADA Executive Committee has responded in the strongest possible terms, while protecting the rights of Russian athletes that can prove that they were not involved and did not benefit from these fraudulent acts."

The Russian Football Union (RFU) is hopeful Russia's four-year ban from international sporting events will not impact their potential participation in the 2022 World Cup.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) declared the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant again at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday.

A WADA panel had recommended the ban 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 World Cup in Qatar is also in jeopardy.

FIFA is yet to reveal its stance on the suspension, but the RFU is optimistic Russia will be present in Qatar if they are successful in their qualification campaign, while it is keen for hosting opportunities in football also to be unaffected.

The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation", so Russia will also be free to compete at Euro 2020, with St Petersburg acting as one of the host cities.

"The RFU has not yet received an official FIFA position by decision of WADA," a widely reported statement read.

"We closely monitor compliance with the anti-doping policy and hope that there will not be any restrictions on the part of FIFA for our teams, as well as the organisation of events or competitions in Russia."

RFU honorary president Vyacheslav Koloskov – formerly a vice-president of FIFA – is "firmly convinced" there will be no issues for the national football team.

"Will we go to the World Cup under our flag? I still have to go there, but I can't say anything about the team," Koloskov told Championat. "There is no FIFA reaction yet.

"We must carefully discuss this topic, but I am firmly convinced that these prohibitions will not affect football. And at the European Championship, we will definitely compete under our flag."

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) has welcomed WADA's decision and adds it hopes any appeal process is swift with the Olympic Games in Tokyo just seven-and-a-half months away.

"We welcome today's decision to declare RUSADA non-compliant, and the decisive action by WADA's Executive Committee (ExCo) to impose four-year sanctions on Russian athletes and support personnel," UKAD chief executive Nicole Sapstead said. 

"This was the only possible outcome that the WADA ExCo could take to reassure athletes and the public and continue the task of seeking justice for those cheated by Russian athletes.

"We know however that this is not necessarily the end of the matter. If RUSADA chooses to appeal this decision to CAS [the Court of Arbitration for Sport], this must be carried out with minimal delay, especially in light of the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. 

"We welcome the clear and detailed communication from WADA today [Monday] which is vital in helping to maintain confidence in the global anti-doping system."

RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the suspension, which would see its case referred to CAS.

Other concerned parties, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), can also appeal if RUSADA chooses not to.

An appeal from the IOC, another Olympic committee or an international federation would have to come within 21 days of RUSADA accepting WADA's decision.

Russia has been banned from international sporting events for four years by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

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.

A WADA panel last month recommended the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be declared non-compliant again over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

WADA's independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) recommended strong sanctions be imposed on Russia, including a four-year ban from competing in and hosting major sporting events.

On Monday, the body's Executive Committee unanimously agreed with the recommendation at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.

RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the suspension, which would see its case referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Individual Russian athletes will still 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.

The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation", so Russia will also be free to compete at Euro 2020.

Stanislav Cherchesov's side have qualified for the finals, where St Petersburg is one of the host cities.

Other concerned parties, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), can also appeal if RUSADA chooses not to.

An appeal from the IOC, another Olympic committee or an international federation would have to come within 21 days of RUSADA accepting WADA's decision.

Russia will be free to compete at Euro 2020 regardless of whether a four-year ban on competing at sporting events is imposed on the country. 

A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) panel recommended last week the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be declared non-compliant again over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

WADA's independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) recommended strong sanctions be imposed on Russia, including a four-year ban from competing in and hosting major sporting events.

However, even if a ban is upheld – and backed up by the Court of Arbitration for Sport if Russia opt to go down that route – the nation's place at the tournament will not be affected as the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS), the body which sets out rules on anti-doping breaches, does not list UEFA as a 'major event organisation'.

St Petersburg will also retain its status as a host city for the event.

Russia's place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, should they qualify, may in jeopardy, though, as FIFA is listed by ISCCS.

A widely reported statement from FIFA read: "We will await the final considerations of the Wada executive committee on this matter until any potential material decision is taken by FIFA."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will support the "toughest sanctions" on individuals found to have manipulated data at a Moscow laboratory, as Russia faces the prospect of a global sporting ban.

A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) panel recommended the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be declared non-compliant again over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

WADA's independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) recommended strong sanctions be imposed on Russia, including a four-year ban from competing in and hosting major sporting events.

Russian athletes may once again have to compete as neutrals at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and be prevented from competing under their flag at the next Winter Olympics.

WADA's Executive Committee (ExCo) will consider the CRC's recommendation at a specially convened meeting in Paris on December 9.

The IOC said in a statement on Tuesday: "The International Olympic Committee condemns in the strongest terms the actions of those responsible for the manipulation of the Moscow Laboratory data before it was transferred to the World Anti-Doping Agency in January 2019.

"The flagrant manipulation is an attack on the credibility of sport itself and is an insult to the sporting movement worldwide. The IOC will support the toughest sanctions against all of those responsible with the manipulation."

Based on the investigations, CRC determined that "hundreds" of presumed adverse analytical findings had been removed from a database in a Moscow Laboratory, with underlying raw data and PDF files deleted or altered.

The IOC notes that the CRC report found the "sports movement" had not been involved in any of the manipulation, in particular the Russian Olympic Committee or its members.

If the ExCo endorses the recommended sanctions, Russia can take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Russia qualified for Euro 2020 and the country is due to host fixtures in the tournament, including a quarter-final.

RUSADA was suspended by WADA in November 2015 in the wake of accusations of widespread corruption and state-sponsored doping.

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