March 25, 2020 / 3:01 PM / 4 days ago

Russian cyclists' lawsuit against WADA dismissed

Gold medallist Britain's Simon Yates (C), silver medallist Spain's Eloy Teruel Rovira (L) and bronze medallist Russia's Kiril Sveshnikov pose for a photo after the men's points race at the 2013 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Minsk, February 22, 2013. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko (BELARUS - Tags: SPORT CYCLING)

(Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Wednesday it welcomed a decision by the Superior Court of Justice of Ontario to dismiss a lawsuit that three Russian cyclists brought against it and investigator Richard McLaren.

The cyclists had been seeking damages over their exclusion from the Rio 2016 Olympics after a WADA-commissioned report by Canadian lawyer McLaren found evidence of widespread doping and manipulation of doping tests by Russian athletes and officials.

In granting a summary dismissal, made on Feb. 11, the court ruled the issues raised by the Russian cyclists were essentially sports-related matters that fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

CAS in 2016 dismissed an appeal against the ban by the three cyclists — Kirill Sveshnikov, Dmitry Strakhov and Dmitry Sokolov.

“It is an important ruling that upholds CAS decisions, which are accepted and supported by the entire sports movement,” said WADA director general Olivier Niggli in a statement.

“This judgment rightly closes the door on attempts to re-litigate matters through the filing of domestic claims.”

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris

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