WADA Submits Reinstatement Guidelines for Russian Anti-Doping Fed

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has received their reinstatement plan from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The news broke on Monday, and was originally covered by TASS, a Russian-sponsored news agency.

In December of 2020, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) partially upheld WADA’S original four-year ban on RUSADA in their release of a 186-page Abritarial Award. After WADA announced their initial sanction on RUSADA (four-year suspension), RUSADA decided to appeal to the case, leading CAS to examine WADA’s decision. CAS’s decision, as detailed in the 186-page document, shortened RUSADA’s ban from four years to two. 

RUSADA’s acting director, Mikhail Bukhanov spoke on the plan in a quote to TASS. 

“RUSADA received the reinstatement plan, which was drafted and approved by WADA. The plan’s goal is to carefully monitor RUSADA in the two-year period to confirm with maximum certainty that RUSADA is following the conditions of reinstatement in accordance with the CAS ruling and international standards.”

Bukhanov claims that the plan will be implemented before December 16th, 2022 (two years after CAS announced that they would uphold WADA’s ban on Russia). Until then, RUSADA will remain stripped of their compliance status.

RUSADA had the ability to appeal CAS’s decision, but the agency ultimately chose not to appeal the decision, and instead accept the two-year ban. They did, however, state that they were “disappointed” with the decision. RUSADA felt that their ban should have been completely eliminated. On the other side of the issue, WADA similarly expressed dissatisfaction with the CAS decision, believing that the ban should’ve stayed at four years. 

The implications of Russia’s non-compliance status will affect Russian athletes and Russian sports federations, but will not affect Russian athletes ability to compete at the Olympic Games. 

In February, WADA, in collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) released their guidelines for Russia’s participation in the 2021 Games. Because the ban prevents Russian athletes from competing under Russia’s team name, Russian athletes will compete under the title of the “Russian Olympic Committee” or the “ROC.”

The ban also prevents the Russian national anthem from being played at the Games, amongst many other things. Those rules apply to competition beyond just the Olympics- they extend to any world-level competition. The ban largely affects Russia at the administrative level, such as the prohibition of Russian officials from serving on the boards of major sporting institutions that are WADA signatories. The European federation is amongst those committees that Russian officials are banned from serving on.

Following suit with that sanction, Oleg Matytsin, the Russian president of the International University Sports Federation (FISU), was stripped of his position until the end of the two-year RUSADA ban. Current vice president Leonz Eder of Switzerland will lead FISU during Matytsin’s absence. 

Additionally, as emphasized in the CAS decision, Russia remains barred from bidding on any Olympic or world-level sporting events. Although the ban bars Russia from holding any Olympic, Paralympic, or World Championship level-events, Russia retained the right to host other events, such as the 2021 European Short Course Championships, which will take place in Kazam in November.

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