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Breaking! Russia risks 2020 Olympics ban over anti-doping data

Team Russia on parade at the Olympics


Russia could be set for a new ban from major international sporting events like next summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games over claimed inconsistencies in anti-doping data.

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s executive committee will gather on December 9 to consider a formal recommendation from its independent compliance review committee (CRC), which is expected to call for the country’s national anti-doping agency RUSADA to be declared non-compliant over the anomalies in laboratory results.

The data in question relates to a period from January 2012 to August 2015 and was obtained by WADA in January of this year under the terms of RUSADA’s reinstatement to compliance in September 2018.

Positive findings which were contained in a version of the data acquired via a whistleblower in 2017 were missing from the January 2019 data.

VANCOUVER, BC – FEBRUARY 12: Flagbearer Alexey Morozov of Russian Federation leads his team into the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at BC Place on February 12, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

If the ExCo agrees with the recommendations of the CRC – and in the likely event that Russia contests the sanctions – the case would move on to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Should CAS find Russia non-compliant and agrees with the sanctions recommended, the country could be facing an almost blanket ban from events like the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, plus football’s Euro 2020 tournament which Russia has qualified for.

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Russia also faces being stripped of existing hosting rights for sporting events and being barred from securing new ones, with St Petersburg’s role as one of 12 host cities for Euro 2020 now in jeopardy.

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