Verdict in landmark Russian doping case expected this year

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A verdict in the landmark doping case that could strip Russia of its identity at the Olympics is expected within two months, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said Thursday.

After a four-day hearing, CAS said it expected the ruling by a panel of three judges to “be notified to the parties by the end of this year.”

The hearing was for a dispute between the World Anti-Doping Agency and its Russian affiliate, known as RUSADA. The Russian agency was ruled non-compliant in December.

“WADA is satisfied with how we presented our case and we now look forward to receiving the decision of the Panel,” the global watchdog’s president, Witold Bańka, said in a statement.

The case centers on a database from the Moscow testing laboratory that was long sealed by Russian state authorities before it was handed over to WADA investigators last year. Data had been deleted, altered and added.

RUSADA refused to accept the non-compliance order and the four-year slate of punishments proposed by the WADA executive committee.

WADA’s requested punishments included a ban on Russia’s flag, anthem and team name at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, and other major sporting events like the World Cup in soccer.

The International Olympic Committee and the governing body of hockey are among the third parties who were involved in this week’s closed-doors hearing. It was held with most of the judges — who are from Australia, Italy and France — lawyers and witnesses joining by video link because of the coronavirus pandemic.

WADA had requested the proceedings be opened to the media and other observers. That needed a consensus which was denied by other parties.

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