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Sports News

Factbox: Reaction to court upholding and halving Russia's doping ban

(Reuters) - A Swiss court on Thursday upheld doping sanctions against Russia, preventing the country’s athletes from competing at major international events - including the Tokyo Olympics next year and 2022 Beijing Olympics - but cut the ban in half to two years from four.

The following is reaction to the news from athletes and sports organisations:

Mikhail Bukhanov, interim head of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA:

“The outcome today is a victory for Russia. CAS did not restrict clean athletes’ right to compete at the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as at world championships.”

Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov:

“Our initial position was initially based on the fact that there are no grounds -- fully or partially -- to punish RUSADA and, as a result, any sanctions against other participants in the process.

“The ban on the participation of state representatives in these sporting events raises many questions.”

U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) CEO Travis Tygart:

“While the first instinct is to express obvious shock, the fact is we should have all seen this coming. WADA and the IOC have manipulated and mishandled this sordid Russian state-doping affair from day one and have put politics over principle once again.

“In addition to many other loopholes, this decision expressly gives IOC members from Russia special treatment and exempts them from any consequence for their bad acts that robbed sport and clean athletes.”

British Paralympic silver medallist Ali Jawad:

“I’ve always been hesitant for calls for an alternative AD system. I’ve always believed in helping create a strong WADA. But the events of the last 5 years, the lack of athlete voices, and the constant compromise with Russia has made me realise that WADA is not fit for purpose.”

Global Athlete and The Athletics Association:

“The decision taken by the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS), released today, has dealt yet another damaging blow to clean sport and the athlete community. Through a series of recommendations that include reducing the 4-yr mandatory sanction imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), to 2-yrs, CAS has diluted and weakened an already compromised sanction - demonstrating once again they are unfit for purpose.

“The fact that Russian Athletes can complete as ‘Neutral Athletes from Russia’ is another farcical facade that makes a mockery of the system. If athletes from Russia can still compete, it is not a sanction. Russia has not been banned; they have simply been rebranded.”

Russia’s Minister of Sport Oleg Matytsin, quoted by RIA news agency:

“Unfortunately, CAS endorsed WADA’s sanctions against RUSADA, despite the fact that RUSADA in recent years has been recognized as one of the most effective (anti-doping agencies), and its interaction with WADA has been very constructive. But it is positive that the sanctions will last two years instead of the four that had been originally planned.”

“We think Russia has done a lot in this time, in recent years, to develop world sport. It’s not right to say the least to extend the sanctions action to cover civil servants.”

Vladislav Tretyak, president of the Russian Hockey Federation, quoted by RIA news agency:

“Unfortunately, we will not have our anthem and our flag like at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. But I am convinced that this will united us even more. We must show good results at upcoming competitions.”

Compiled by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Amy Tennery, editing by Ed Osmond and Pritha Sarkar

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