MOSCOW: Russia decided on Thursday to contest its ban from major sporting events over doping violations, as President Vladimir Putin slammed it’s sidelining as unfair and insisted athletes should be able to compete under the national flag.
Russia’s RUSADA anti-doping agency “made a decision not to agree” with the four-year ban by the World Anti-Doping Agency’s decision, the head of RUSADA’s supervisory board, Alexander Ivlev, told journalists.
The decision will have to be communicated to WADA before the end of the month, triggering the appeal process in the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.
WADA on December 10 banned Russia for four years from major global events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, over manipulated doping data.
Putin appeared to indicate a lengthy legal battle loomed, as he addressed a throng of journalists in his annual press conference.
“We will have to calmly await all the relevant decisions, including the decision by the arbitration court, then we will understand what position we’re in,” he said when asked about the prospect of cancellation of events on Russian territory.