The World Anti-Doping Agency has submitted a request to the Court of Arbitration for Sport that its hearing to resolve the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s non-compliance case be held in public.
“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.”
Last November, CAS staged its first public hearing since 1999 for the case of WADA vs. Sun Yang and FINA. That hearing, which lasted 11 hours (SwimSwam live-recapped the whole thing), was marred by translation issues as the 27-year-old Chinese star struggled to communicate with his lawyers and jurors.
Sun’s case was the first heard in public at CAS since a European Court of Human Rights ruling in October 2018 which maintained in Mutu and Pechstein v. Switzerland that if an athlete expressly requests a public hearing, the court must oblige.
In September 2019, an independent WADA compliance committee opened case against RUSADA and recommended that it be declared non-compliant for a period of four years, and that Russia would not be allowed to participate in, host or bid for various major events, including the Olympics, Paralympics and Code Signatories’ World Championships for that time. WADA’s executive committee unanimously agreed in December to uphold that recommendation.
RUSADA had 21 days to appeal the decision to CAS and did so Jan. 9. The appeal by came in spite of the fact that RUSADA director general Yury Ganus objected to an appeal and wanted RUSADA to accept the sanctions as levied. The RUSADA Supervisory Board agreed to contest the sanctions. Ganus has said publicly that he believes that there is “no chance of winning the case in court.”