Russia is to take an appeal over its ban from Tokyo 2020 and other major championships to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) announced the unanimous decision by its executive committee to ban Russia for four years from major games or hosting large international competitions following the major doping scandal. This includes Olympics, Paralympics, Youth Olympics, World Championships and “any other event organised by a major event organisation”.
The WADA decision meant that riders would not be allowed to compete under their nation’s flag at Tokyo 2020, while the Russian equestrian federation stated the hosting ban does not extend to international equestrian competitions.
But the decision to appeal means the sanctions are paused until a final ruling is made by CAS.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency shared a copy of the formal letter from its general director, Yury Ganus, disputing WADA’s allegations printed in the 9 December notice “in its entirety”.
WADA confirmed it received the official notice on 27 December and that the matter has now been referred to CAS.
“WADA remains convinced that it made the right decision on 9 December,” said the organisation’s president,” Sir Craig Reedie.
“The proposed consequences are tough on the Russian authorities while robustly protecting the integrity of clean sport around the world. We will defend that decision with the utmost vigor at CAS.”
In equestrian disciplines, the country has a dressage team spot and two individual eventing places at next year’s Games. The team and individual qualifying places for para dressage have not yet been finalised.
Athletes, including riders, who have a clean doping record will still be allowed to compete at major games, including Tokyo 2020, but under a neutral flag.
A statement from the Russian equestrian federation (FKSR) on 9 December stated there are no cases that would lead to suspension or disqualification of riders under the WADA code.
“Currently, the FKSR is in constant working contact with the FEI leadership to ensure the participation of Russian athletes in all international competitions,” it added.
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