Russia’s doping appeal set for May
Russia’s appeal against a four-year ban from all major sporting events for doping violations will not be heard before the end of April.
The ban means athletes will not be allowed to compete for Russia at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and football’s 2022 World Cup.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) also announced the appeal hearing will not be heard in public. Russia was given the ban by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) in December.
Wada’s executive committee made the unanimous decision to impose the sanction after Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (Rusada) was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2019.
Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said the ban was part of “chronic anti-Russian hysteria”.
Rusada appealed against the decision later in December, sending a letter to Wada stating that it “disputes the ban in its entirety”.
Cas said a “procedural timetable for the filing of written submissions” has been established and will run until mid-April.
The hearing will not take place before the end of April and will not be held in public “due to the absence of an agreement between all parties concerned”.
Wada had wanted the hearing to be in public.
Despite the ban, Russia will be able to compete at Euro 2020 – in which St Petersburg will be a host city – as European football’s governing body Uefa is not defined as a “major event organisation” with regards to rulings on anti-doping breaches.
Athletes who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete at international events under a neutral flag.
A total of 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after the country was banned following the 2014 Games, which it hosted in Sochi. Russian athletes won 33 medals in Sochi, 13 of which were gold.
If Russia qualifies for the World Cup in Qatar, they can apply to participate on a neutral basis.
Russia has been banned from competing as a nation in athletics since 2015. (BBC Sport)