Australia backs Russia ban

Sydney, The Australian Olympic Committee has welcomed the decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency to ban Russia from major sporting events, including next year’s Tokyo Games, for four years as the sports world began to digest the suspension on Tuesday.

WADA’s executive committee acted on Monday after concluding that Moscow had planted fake evidence and deleted files linked to positive doping tests in laboratory data that could have helped identify drug cheats, Reuters reported.

Ian Chesterman, the AOC vice-president who will lead the Australian team at the Tokyo Olympics next year, said that WADA had sent a powerful message with the unprecedented ban.

This was a shocking betrayal of fair sport and there are severe consequences for that, he said.

Every athlete deserves to compete with the confidence they are competing in a clean and fair environment. The fact that this was a systematic attempt to undermine fair sport makes it all the more galling and all the more offensive.

The ban comes as a huge blow to Russian pride and President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Moscow might appeal the decision, as is their right within 21 days.

WADA’s decision does leave the door open for clean Russian athletes to compete as individuals in Tokyo without their flag or anthem, as was the case when Russia was banned from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), whose 2020 Tokyo Games will also be impacted by the decision, said they would respect WADA’s sanction after the appeal is exhausted.

The Japanese Olympic Committee said they would not be commenting on the ban.

Source: Bahrain News Agency