Final judgment on doping in Russia

Jose Carlos Carabias

Updated:03/11/2020 01: 41h

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Six years ago a report on the German ARD television, “Official Secret. How Russia Creates Its Winners ”, which questioned any hint of credibility in Russian sport. It exposed a reality parallel to the superficial one of the competitions. A state doping, sponsored and sustained by the Putin government, with KGB methods, hundreds of hidden or falsified positives and the laboratory of the Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) as the center of operations. For six long years the corruption of the former president of athletics has been known, who charged Russians bites for hiding their positives, the presence of Russian athletes in competitions with the flag of their country has been canceled, and the call was made public “McLaren report” that ratified and expanded on each piece of information in the documentary made by the German journalist Hajo Seppelt. After six years, the process comes to an end. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS), the ultimate sports court, judges from today until Thursday the proposed four-year sanction for Russian athletes and the country as an event organizer.

36 years ago the TAS was created as a legal arbitration body empowered to resolve disputes so particular to sport. And it is probably the first time that he has faced such a sentence. The TAS judges a country, the government of the largest nation in the world and that displaces the largest volume of athletes to any tournament. It is a litigation that measures the stature and credibility of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) – asking for the four-year sanction – against the Russian giant. A 21st century version of the cold war.

Founded in 1999 as a result of Festina scandal on Tour 1998, WADA has deployed unprecedented investment, effort and investigation to advance this crusade against Russia and the evidence that points to it. And somehow, a ruling in his favor would mean curbing the threat from the United States and Travis Tygart, who want to lead the fight against doping globally.

The case has had a long run. It included Russian athletes participating in neutral flag tournaments. Put face and eyes to former laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov, who became the main confidant of the AMA and starred in a documentary that aired all the fraudulent practices of the Putin government. He took Lamine Diack, the former president of world athletics who exchanged positives for currency, to trial. And it has led to the TAS because this body has discovered that the Moscow laboratory manipulated data under the surveillance conditions imposed on it and that they had to return Russia to the main competitions once the gangrene had healed. The AMA understands that it has not been fixed and that is why it goes to the CAS.

In its plea, WADA calls for the Russian flag to be banned for four years from all sporting events, including the Tokyo 2021 and Paris 2024 Games. And it does not want Russia to host any international competition on its soil. WADA asks that any tournament organized by Russia be canceled. If the sanction is confirmed, it would not affect the 2021 European Football Championship (Saint Petersburg has three matches of the first phase and one more of the quarters assigned), since the WADA claim only affects the Games and any World Cup.

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