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Kremlin Regrets Russia Doping Ban

Channels Television  
Updated December 18, 2020
Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President Stanislav Pozdnyakov speaks with the media in Moscow on December 17, 2020, hours before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is to deliver its verdict over Russia ban from international sports imposed following allegations of state-sanctioned doping.
Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / AFP

 

The Kremlin said Friday it regretted a decision to ban Russia from international sport for two years but stressed the importance for the country’s athletes to participate in international competitions as neutrals.

On Thursday, the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport cut the initial four-year ban imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and allowed selected athletes to participate as neutrals.

The shortened ban imposed by CAS runs until December 16, 2022, encompassing the Tokyo Olympics, Beijing Winter Games and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday that the Kremlin “regrets” the decision and “treats it negatively”.

 

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But at the same time, he said it was “extremely important” that Russian athletes would take part in international competitions to uphold their qualifications and physical shape.

Peskov said that Russia would continue the “fight against doping”.

Government representatives including President Vladimir Putin have been barred from major international competitions, but they may still attend if invited by the host country’s head of state, CAS has said.

Peskov did not comment on the ban against Putin.

Russia has been roiled by the doping saga for the past four years after the former head of Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov blew the whistle over state-backed doping at the country’s 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

CAS has eased measures announced last year by WADA which called for Russia to be excluded from international sport for four years after a whistleblower report revealed state-backed cheating during the country’s 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

-AFP