This is an unprecedented decision in the history of sports justice. Giant of world sport accused of a cascade of cheating and institutionalized doping, Russia has been excluded for two years from major international competitions, including two editions of the Olympic Games. A sanction announced Thursday, December 17 by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
→ IN DECEMBER 2019. Accused of doping, Russia banned from international sport
However, she will be able to make her return to the Paris Games in 2024, contrary to what WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) demanded, which suspended Russia for four years in December 2019. After four days of closed hearing in early November, the three arbitrators appointed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne delivered their award of more than 180 pages.
The stakes were high for Russian athletes. In Tokyo (2021, Summer Games), and Beijing (2022, Winter Games), only those who will be able to compete, under a neutral banner, will demonstrate their absence of recourse to doping.
A welcome clarification
Founded in 1999 in the wake of the Festina scandal, WADA had deployed unprecedented investigative efforts, and was playing its credibility at a time when the United States threatened to cut its food and have just passed a law allowing them to carry out their own world crusade against doping.
Finally, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the federations awaited clear directives from the CAS, seven months from the Tokyo Olympics, in order to avoid the mess of recent years in the Russian file.
Just before the Rio Games in 2016, WADA had recommended an exclusion of Russian athletes refused by the IOC, while a few days before the opening of the PyeongChang Games in 2018, the CAS had cleared 28 Russian athletes suspended from life by the IOC.
Positive controls erased
But the legal framework is clear this time, since it was a question of validating or not the panoply of sanctions proposed in December 2019 by WADA and refused by the Russian anti-doping agency, Rusada, because of the rigging of the computer files of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory for the period 2011-2015.
In their report consulted by AFP, the Montreal sleuths establish two types of manipulation carried out by Russia: the removal of traces of positive doping controls, and the introduction of false exchanges aimed at compromising Grigory Rodchenkov, ex-director of the laboratory refugee in the United States and became WADA’s main informant, along with two of his deputies.
The anti-doping gendarme therefore drew from the “ISCCS”, a text in force since April 2018 which authorizes it to crack down in all directions, with an objective, to ban the Russian flag for four years from major sporting events and to ban the country from organize some on his floor.