RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT
VIDEO SHOWS: WADA PRESIDENT WITOLD BANKA TALKING ABOUT THE CAS DECISION IN THE RUSSIAN DOPING SCANDAL
UNDISCLOSED LOCATION (DECEMBER 17, 2020) (WADA - ACCESS ALL)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WADA PRESIDENT WITOLD BANKA SAYING:
"We are pleased to have won this landmark case. We left no stone unturned in investigating a very complex matter, and in presenting our case before CAS. The panel has clearly upheld our findings that the Russian authorities brazenly and illegally manipulated the Moscow laboratory data in a fraud to cover up an institutionalised doping scam.
"In the face of continual resistance and denial from Russia, we clearly proved our case in accordance with due process. In that regard, this ruling is an important moment for clean sport and athletes all over the world. We are, however, disappointed that the CAS panel didn't endorse each and everyone of our recommended consequences for the four year period we requested.
"We believe they were proportionate and reasonable but ultimately, WADA is not the judge, but the prosecutor, and we must respect the decision of the panel. These are still the strongest set of consequences ever imposed on any country for doping related offences and the award clearly endorses the result process driven approach taken by WADA in dealing effectively with this case.
"Russia will not be permitted to participate in, bid for, or host any covered event including two editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and many other major events for the next two years. The Russian flag will not fly, nor its anthem played. This sends a clear message that institutionalised cheating and concerted frauds to subvert the global anti doping system will not be tolerated.
"The egregious manipulation by the Russian authorities of data retrieved by WADA intelligence and investigations from the Moscow laboratory was the latest in a long list of offences and it has led today to significant consequences for the authorities. Russian authorities were afforded every opportunity to get their house in order and rejoin the global anti doping community for the good of their athletes and integrity of sport. But they chose instead to continue on their path of deception and denial."
STORY: Russian athletes will be barred from competing at major international events, including the Olympics, under the country's flag until 2022 after a Swiss court on Thursday (December 17) upheld doping sanctions but halved the original four-year ban.
Despite the reduction in the punishment, World Anti Doping Agency President, Witold Banka, said in a video statement that the CAS ruling was an endorsement of the agency's investigation of what amounted to an "institutionalised doping scam".
The ruling will leave Russian athletes without their flag and national anthem at next year's Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and at the 2022 soccer World Cup in Qatar, a severe blow to Russian sport which has been tarnished in recent years by a string of doping scandals.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had originally banned Russia from the world's top sporting events for four years in December 2019, but the sanctions could not be implemented until the end of the appeal process.
The Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said the sanctions, which also bar Russia from hosting or bidding for major sporting events, would come into force on Thursday and end on December 16, 2022.
Russian government officials or representatives will be banned from attending events such as the Olympics and world championships in major sports for a two-year period.
Russians will also not be able to be appointed to or sit on committees or serve as board members at organisations that must abide by the WADA code.
(Production: Iain Axon)