Cass begins the hearings to decide the fate of Russia from the Tokyo Olympics
On Monday, the International Court of Sports Arbitration (CAS) will begin hearings that extend for 4 days, during which the fate of Russia’s participation in the upcoming Olympic Games in the Japanese capital Tokyo, and in some other major sporting events, will be decided in light of the sanctions imposed on Russia recently due to violations of the rules Anti-doping.
Russia is contesting to suspend it for 4 years from participating in any international events, issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency “WADA,” which announced in December 2019 that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency “ROSADA” is not committed again.
WADA had imposed the penalty on Russia under recommendations it had received from the Independent Compliance Committee.
These recommendations came after finding that the results of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory data had been tampered with before they were delivered to WADA as part of the investigations into the scandal of the systematic and state-supported proliferation of doping among Russian athletes.
In 2015, Wada declared Rosada non-compliance after the doping scandal broke out and then announced a controversial decision in September 2018 to return Rosada to compliance status. However, the condition that accesses to the Moscow laboratory data for the period between 2012 and 2015 is allowed.
Data was allowed in early in 2019, but Wada stated that by comparing the data that was allowed access with another copy it received in 2017 by one of the whistleblowers, it became clear that the data had been tampered with.
The Olympic Games in Tokyo have been postponed from this year to 2021. Due to the new Coronavirus outbreak, it gives all parties more time to decide on the fate of Russia’s participation in this Olympiad and other major sporting events.
The hearing will be held tomorrow, Monday, until next Thursday, in Switzerland, in person, and via a closed-circuit “video conference” in the midst of a strict health protocol.
The case is now technically confined to “Wada” and “Rosada” because Wada is the party entitled to impose penalties in cases related to doping.
Various bodies are present at the hearings as overlapping parties, namely the International Olympic Committee, the Russian Olympic Committee, the Russian Federation, and the International Ice Hockey Federation (about the 2023 World Championships, which the Russian city of St. Petersburg has the right to host).
“The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has spared no effort in preparing for this hearing, and we are looking forward to allowing us to present our case clearly and fairly before the court,” said Vetold Pankar, president of WADA, in a statement on Friday.
He added, “I am still convinced that the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency made the correct recommendation in this case last December.”
Cass stated that it would issue its judgment “later,” as this judgment is expected to take place several weeks later.
The International Olympic Committee was widely criticized when it stopped banning Russia from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics (and only the track and field team could not compete due to separate sanctions) after McLaren’s first report.
However, the International Olympic Committee imposed this penalty throughout the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics duration in 2018, when Russian athletes were to compete as neutral athletes without their country’s flag, Russian national peace, and other symbols.