Russia’s doping ban has been halved, but will lag behind the next two Olympics


Russia, which is a regular bidder for major sporting events, is banned from organizing World Cup-level events for the duration of the ban. The punishment called into question the plans for the 2023 World Hockey Championships, which Russia is scheduled to host in St. Petersburg. But these are now outside the scope of the ban.

Russian athletes may participate in the events in a neutral manner, provided that WADA does not prove any connection to the doping agent, which culminated in the involvement of agents of the Russian State Security Apparatus, who replaced the infected doping test samples with pure mediums. night operations at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Russia hosted these games in Sochi, a seaside resort that was rebuilt at great cost to showcase the country’s sporting and economic strength.

The system, which began years earlier, only came to light after one of its chief architects, Grigory Rodchenkov, a former head of the Moscow doping laboratory at the center of the scandal, betrayed what had happened.

Rodchenkov, currently living in an unknown location in the United States, revealed how hundreds of contaminated anti-doping results were manipulated before official registration, protecting athletes from identification and allowing them to enjoy enhanced chemical benefits before the big tournament kicks off. events.

Anti-doping investigators proposed a four-year ban after finding that Russian officials had produced evidence and manipulated the contents of a drug testing database to discredit Rodchenkov and further disguise his behavior. At its meeting last December, the WADA board agreed with the recommendation and imposed a four-year ban.

On Thursday, Rodchenkov’s attorney, Jim Walden, blew up CAS’s appeal decision.

“CAS’s decision is to be effective split the baby meaningless and unworthy, ”he said. “Despite overwhelming evidence of corruption, doping fraud and obstruction of justice, including a cheeky attempt to falsely accuse Dr. Rodchenkov of fictitious evidence, CAS has once again demonstrated its unwillingness and inability to deal sensibly with Russia’s systematic and long-standing crime.”

Jonathan Taylor, who chaired the Russian Investigation Oversight Committee and recommended a longer ban, said in an interview that he has mixed feelings about the outcome of the appeal. While the panel accepted WADA’s “overwhelming evidence of manipulation” and confirmed that its new sanctioning powers were sufficient to control it, it said it questioned the logic of reducing the penalty.