Russia could miss the summer Olympics next year in Tokyo after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) gave the country a window of three weeks to explain “inconsistencies” in Moscow lab data.
Apart from being banned in the Olympics, Russia also face the prospect of being barred from participating and hosting other major events.
After completing a three year suspension for state sponsored doping programme earlier this year, Russia handed over their laboratory data to the WADA as a part of the conditions that were put forth for Russia to come back to participate in the all major events.
But BBC, on Monday, reported that the data contained “inconsistencies.” According to the reports WADA “was informed that further investigation of inconsistencies in Moscow laboratory data had led Wada to open a formal compliance procedure against Rusada”.
“There’s evidence this data has been deleted,” chairman of Wada’s compliance panel, Jonathan Taylor later told BBC Sport. “We need to understand from the Russian authorities what their explanation is.”
“This is hypothetical at the moment, but if the experts maintain their current view, then the compliance review committee will make a recommendation to send a notice to Rusada asserting ‘you’re non-compliant’ and proposing consequences,” he said.
“In a case with a ‘critical non-compliance’, there is now a starting point for the sanctions that can go up and down, and they do include sanctions against Rusada and options include no events hosted in Russia, and they do include no participation of Russian athletes in world championships and up to the Olympics.”
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If they do get banned by WADA, Russia have a chance to appeal, which is when the case will be handled by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CaS).
“Everyone has agreed they will enforce what Cas agrees,” Taylor said “We’ve got to be very careful. Procedure has got to be followed. We can’t prejudge the outcome.”
The president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, speaking about the prospect of a ban from Olympics once again said: “We have spent vast diplomatic efforts to regain the trust of the international sports community and for Russian athletes to have the right to take part in Olympics without any restrictions. But now we again run the risk of facing sanctions.”
In the previous punishment, Russia managed to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympics, but was barred from participating in winter Olympics two years later. The ban, which was initially for a period of four years, was shortened last year, when they were asked to submit their lab data. After handing over the data, Russia now find themselves in trouble once again.