Russia confirms it won’t appeal Olympic team restrictions

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian anti-doping agency confirmed that it will not file an appeal to further loosen restrictions on its teams at the Olympics and other major sporting events.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last month ruled that Russia’s name, flag and anthem would be barred from the next two Olympics after backing the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) finding that doping data was manipulated.

However, CAS halved the duration of the sanctions from four years to two, removed vetting requirements for Russian athletes and allowed them to keep wearing national colours. The Russian agency, known as RUSADA, had the option to file an appeal with the Swiss supreme court on procedural grounds.

It said on Monday that it still regards the ruling that doping data in Moscow was modified as “flawed and one-sided” but was satisfied that CAS rejected tougher sanctions proposed by WADA.

“RUSADA considers that this chapter has now been closed and is looking forward and committed to working with WADA with a view to fully restoring RUSADA’s membership status,” the Russian agency said in a statement.

RUSADA added that it “remains fully committed to the fight against doping but will continue to defend the rights of clean Russian athletes and to oppose any form of discrimination against Russian sport”.

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin appeared to back the decision. “We respect the decision of RUSADA,” Matytsin said in comments reported by the Tass state news agency. “We will do everything for Russian sport to be clean, fully implement educational programmes, cooperate with the federations, the regions and the Russian Olympic Committee, as well as with international organisations in their areas of competence, to ensure the clean development of Russian sport and the inadmissibility of doping.”

People stand at the Odaiba waterfront with Olympic rings in the background in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP