22nd June 2020

Russia considers any suspension of ANA Status illegal

The Russian Ministry of Sport considers any move by World Athletics to suspend the accreditation of Authorised Neutral Athletes (ANA) unless the Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) pays US$5 million to World Athletics by 1 July a breach of international law. RusAF was fined US$10 million by World Athletics in March after it was found to have fabricated information to assist high jumper Danil Lysenko cover up a whereabouts anti-doping rule violation (ADRV). 

As part of that Decision, the number of Russian ANAs was capped at ten for specified World Athletics and European Athletics events, but was unrestricted for international one day events. An additional condition was that the entire ANA process would be suspended unless $5 million is paid by RusAF to World Athletics by 1 July.

The Russian Ministry of Sport’s statement (translated)…

‘The Russian Ministry of Sport is confident that the suspension of the procedure for granting neutral status to Russian athletes violates the universally recognised legal principle of the inadmissibility of double punishment for the same violation, and also constitutes an unlawful application of collective responsibility, which is contrary to the spirit and principles of international human rights law’, read an 18 June statement (see right). ‘The rights of clean athletes, their provision and protection are a key priority in the activities of the Ministry of Sports of Russia. Understanding that the rights of athletes are one of the fundamental principles of Olympism, we hope that all representatives of the international athletics community adhere to a similar position.’

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) recently announced that it will seek to recover its legal costs from appeals against its decisions by Russian athletes that were lost at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). ‘RUSADA is concerned about groundless appeals by athletes who put RUSADA in a situation where it is necessary to hire a lawyer to represent interests in the CAS and spend budget funds’, read a statement‘In order to ensure the principle of legality, prevention and compensation of groundless spending of federal budget funds, RUSADA has begun work to recover legal costs in cases that were lost by athletes at the CAS’. The majority of appeals by Russian athletes to the CAS have been launched by athletes that fall under RusAF’s jurisdiction.

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