21 December 2020

iNADO Statement: ‘CAS decision on Russia sends a confusing message’

The Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) has taken note of the recent Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision to partially uphold the sanctions on Russia issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Due to the strong evidence of serious manipulation of data collected by WADA, the CAS panel upheld the decision of the WADA Executive Committee of 9 December 2019 and declared the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code.

However, by diluting the sanctions imposed, the institutionalized scheme of doping and deception of Russian authorities will not face all the consequences it deserved. It is difficult to understand why the most serious breach of anti-doping rules and sport values will not receive the same sanction of four years that any individual athlete would receive for cheating deliberately.

The exclusion of the Russian Olympic team and national symbols at the next two editions of the Olympic Games are important sanctions imposed by WADA which have been upheld by CAS. However, it is difficult to digest that Russian neutral athletes will be allowed to compete at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo in Russian colors and with their country’s name on their uniforms.

iNADO is deeply concerned about the message this decision sends to current and future generations of athletes with regards to tolerance of doping in sport. Sport needed to close this chapter decisively and irrefutably by demonstrating that those who cheat, deceit, and deny, will face significant and clear consequences. This was achieved only partially.

iNADO looks forward to receiving the full decision to get a better understanding of how CAS – the ultimate arbitrator in sport – came to this conclusion. For the work of NADOs, it is crucial that;

• the cases of Russian athletes identified by WADA ́s Intelligence and Investigations Department and which are subject to investigation due to manipulated data or for other reasons are concluded,
• the qualification criteria for athletes with neutral status during the two-year-period is transparent, logical and ready to be scrutinized by the public opinion, and
• the anti-doping community works diligently together to ensure that Russian athletes are subject to a robust anti-doping programme until RUSADA is again deemed compliant. iNADO will offer whatever support it can to help WADA in their efforts to strengthen RUSADA ́s independence.

• This media release was published via email by the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) on 21 December 2020. 

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