Russia’s anti-doping chief Yuri Ganus says there is “no chance” that Russia wins an appeal against its four-year international sporting ban. Yahoo News, among others, are reporting the comments.
“There is no chance of winning this case in court,” Ganus said in the Yahoo story.
Ganus is the head of RUSADA, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. He’s also been very critical of his own country’s actions in the ongoing doping scandal. Ganus was the official who publicly called on Vladimir Putin to get Moscow anti-doping lab data turned over to WADA, at the time warning that a failure to comply with WADA’s request could lead to Russian athletes “suspended from participation in all international competitions.”
Those words now seem vaguely prophetic, after WADA this morning handed down a 4-year ban on Russia in international sporting events, based largely on Russia’s missing of the deadline to turn over the data, followed by evidence that the country manipulated the data before turning it over. Ganus supported the allegations that Russian officials had tampered with the data, a statement so critical of his country that The New York Times reported that many were surprised at his boldness, noting that two Russian anti-doping officials – including Ganus’s predecessor – had died under suspicious circumstances in recent years.
Russia could appeal the WADA ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. But Ganus’s comments cast some doubt that an appeal will even be filed, though it’s still a possibility.
As of now, Russia as a nation is banned from international competition for four years. That stretch will include the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2022 Winter Olympics, along with the 2021 and 2023 FINA World Aquatics Championships. Russian athletes still have an avenue to compete, but under the Olympic banner. But those athletes would have to demonstrate that they weren’t implicated in the doping scandal that has embroiled Russia for the past four years. Athletes specifically named in the McLaren Report would appear to have an especially tough path to proving their innocence – that includes top Russian swimmers Vladimir Morozov, Daria Ustinova and Nikita Lobintsev.
Despite his open criticism of Russia as a whole, Ganus called the current situation “a tragedy,” noting that clean athletes would see their rights limited.
Other officials have taken a harder line against the ban. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called the situation “anti-Russian hysteria” and claimed that those responsible for the doping program had already been punished, per The Moscow Times.