News 27th December 2019

No sanctions until CAS decides on RUSADA appeal

No sanctions will be imposed on Russia until the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rules on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA) appeal against the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decision to declare it non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. At a Christmas Eve meeting, the RUSADA Executive Board approved its Supervisory Board’s recommendation to appeal and instructed Yuriy Ganus, Director General, to file it with WADA today.

Article 23.5.7 of the World Anti-Doping Code…

The appeal was confirmed by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC), who are the founding members of RUSADA. The ROC took a decision ‘to approve the law firm Schellenberg Wittmer to represent the interests of RUSADA at the CAS’, at its Executive Committee meeting, also on Christmas Eve. A statement from the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) confirmed that Ganus has been instructed to grant Schellenberg Wittmer power of attorney over RUSADA.

Under Article 23.5.7 of the World Anti-Doping Code, a country’s Olympic bodies may appeal any decision taken under WADA’s International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories (ISCCS) if it affects that country’s ability to participate in the Olympics. As such, the ROC also appointed Libra Law to represent its interests as a ‘third party’ in the dispute. 

Article 10.4.3 of the ISCCS mandates that in cases where a Code signatory disputes non compliance, ‘no consequences will come into effect unless and until CAS so orders’. As such, until the CAS rules on RUSADA’s appeal, none of WADA’s sanctions apply. 

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics take place from 24 July to 9 August. Russia’s Minister of Sport, Pavel Kolobkov, expects the appeal process against WADA’s sanctions, which he labelled as “not legitimate”, to take a long time. 

Article 10.4.3 of the ISCCS

“The court process of challenging the decision to sanction has already started and is expected to be difficult”, he said in an interview published on the Ministry of Sport’s internet site. “I understand that the process will be long, and will have a high degree of politicisation. But I hope that the issue will be resolved within the law.” 

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