Unprecedented decision: Putin banned from attending Olympics

The CAS indictment touched not only RUSADA and Russian athletes but also officials and representatives of the Russian authorities. President Vladimir Putin is also banned from attending the Olympic Games and World Championships. On December 17, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) handed down a verdict to all Russian sport, resolving a dispute between the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). In a high-profile case, the court sided with WADA, although it did not fully accept the requirements of the international agency.

Thus, RUSADA has again lost its compliance status and thus faced problems with doping testing and admission of athletes to competitions, and in the next two years (until December 16, 2022) domestic athletes will be able to perform at the World Championships and the Olympic Games (summer 2021 in Tokyo and winter 2022 in Beijing) exclusively in neutral status. The Russians will go to the Games as part of the national Olympic Committee team, although the name of the country will be able to be present on their equipment.

 During this period, Russia will also not be able to host major international tournaments and even qualify for them, but the status of all those competitions that the country has already received before, is likely to remain unchanged – these tournaments are technically impossible to transfer to other countries, and international sports federations are against the change of locations. In addition, RUSADA is also required to reimburse WADA for 90 days as the cost of investigations of $1.27 million, 400,000 Swiss francs for proceedings in CAS and another 10% of the agency’s revenue for 2019 (or $100,000).

Russian officials were also punished. First, representatives and leaders of domestic sports associations will no longer be able to be members of boards, committees and other units of international sports federations, which are signatories of the WADA code. Secondly, the Russian authorities are banned from attending the World Championships and the Olympic Games for two years. This punishment applies to ministers, their deputies, the Prime Minister and his deputies, members of the State Duma, heads and deputy state organizations, employees of the Investigative Committee

and including Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as his entire administration. CAS made a special emphasis on the figure of the head of state. This is quite remarkable, because in the international standards, which adhere to WADA, the speech about the president of the country in the imposition of sanctions has not been mentioned before. This is in an interview with The Gazeta. Ru” noted the former head of RUSADA Yuri Ganus: “Here CAS raised the requirements even to the level of the president.”

In the Kremlin, the decision of CAS to ban Putin from the World Championships and the Olympic Games was expected to be assessed negatively. At the same time, they stressed that in the current situation the main emphasis should be placed on the athletes, who will be allowed to enter the major competitions, albeit under a neutral flag.

“On all other issues, we mean to maintain the closest contacts with international sports organizations. We will continue this dialogue. We will continue to protect our interests by all available means. And we will continue the fight against doping, in fact, which the Russian president has repeatedly said in his speeches,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The Russian Olympic Committee has raised many questions about the points of the indictment concerning the country’s state officials. “I cannot imagine that the arbitrators support the decision to extend these measures to the head of a sovereign state. We take a position on the inadmissibility of such approaches,” said Stanislav Pozdnyakov, head of the OCR.