The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has filed an official request for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to resolve its dispute with RUSADA via arbitration. This comes 2 weeks after RUSADA made the first move, formally appealing the WADA sanctions announced in December over tainted doping data.
“As the monitoring body of anti-doping worldwide, WADA will not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to protect clean sport,” WADA President Witold Banka said in a message to stakeholders the day after the announcement.
“This is in the spirit of the Katowice Declaration that concluded WADA’s fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport, which was held in my home country of Poland last November.”
“We declared that we would work to bring all perpetrators to account without limitation. Where systems and cultures allow – and even enable – the use of prohibited substances and methods, we must work to make sure that athletes are not the only ones sanctioned. The cultures and systems must change too and those responsible brought to justice. This has been WADA’s approach to the Russian doping crisis, as shown by the strong consequences endorsed by our Executive Committee in December, consequences that target the guilty parties and protect the innocent.”
WADA has accused Russia of manipulating data from the Moscow Laboratory that WADA retrieved as part of its post-reinstatement conditions for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, RUSADA. WADA reinstated RUSADA in 2018 in spite of RUSADA having not met the initial conditions for reinstatement, with a new, more lenient set of requirements. Even then, RUSADA missed deadlines to turn over laboratory data, and once they did, the data for 145 athletes appeared to have been tampered with, WADA claims.
Yuri Ganus, the head of RUSADA, has said publicly that he believes that his organization has no chance of winning an appeal to the CAS, but that the organization’s board of directors forced his hand into making the appeal anyway.
Among the sanctions placed upon RUSADA by WADA are a 4-year ban on the Russian flag flying at international sporting events including the Olympics, though Russian athletes who can prove that their data was not tampered with would still be cleared to compete under a neutral flag; barring Russia from hosting or bidding to host major international events; and blocking Russia from a planned bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games.
The CAS holds final appeal authority over matters like these according to the World Anti-Doping Code, whichboth RUSADA and most of Russia’s national and international sporting organizations are signatories of.