Russian biathletes may compete at world championship under national flag - official

Dec 15, 2019

Hochfilzen (Austria) Dec 15: Disagreement with sanctions imposed by the World Ani-Doping Agency (WADA) and the forthcoming legal proceedings could provide Russian athletes with an opportunity to compete at the 2020 IBU Biathlon World Championship in Italy's Antholz under the national flag, President of Russia's Biathlon Union Vladimir Drachev told reporters in Austria's Hochfilzen on Saturday.
The WADA Executive Committee (ExCo) approved on Monday the recommendations of its Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to annul the compliance status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) as well as to strip Russia of the right to participate in major international sports tournaments, including the Olympics, Paralympics and world championships, for the period of four years.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has the right to appeal WADA's ruling with the Swiss-based CAS within 21 days. In case RUSADA decides against submitting an appeal, it can be also filed by heads of the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committees as well as by heads of the international sports federations.
"Once it goes as far as legal proceedings, it will take lots of time, which gives us a chance to compete [at the world championship]. Once [RUSADA] takes another decision, we will assess the situation. Now we should wait for December 19, and then we will be making decisions," said Drachev, who had held talks with the leadership of the International Biathlon Union (IBU) earlier on Saturday.
"In general, we get along with the IBU. I can see we have a good relationship and we will be continuing fruitful work," he noted.
The 2020 IBU Biathlon World Championship is scheduled for middle February.
Sergey Khrychikov, head of Sport Conventions Division of the Council of Europe and a member of RUSADA Supervisory Board, told TASS on Monday that if the case is submitted to CAS and the WADA ban is approved, the sanctions against Russian sport might come into effect not earlier than next spring.
The WADA ExCo also ruled on December 9 that Russia must not host, or bid for or be granted in the four-year period any major international sports tournament. Russian state officials, as well as the officials of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), were banned from attending all major international sports tournaments for the period of four years.
On November 25, the WADA Compliance Review Committee (CRC) reiterated its previous recommendation for the world anti-doping body's Executive Committee to strip RUSADA of its compliance status and came up with a recommendation of additional sanctions against Russian sports.
The world's governing anti-doping body announced on September 23 that it had initiated a probe into the compliance status of RUSADA with the Code of the organization based on the inconsistencies discovered in the data from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.
Source: TASS

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