(28 Nov 2019) The Russian Olympic Committee president said Russia will select a team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to “defend the nation’s honour” despite the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recommendation Russians be banned from competing in top events.
Stanislav Pozdnyakov told an annual meeting with athletic federation representatives the Olympics was not a competition between countries “but between athletes selected and sent to the Games by their respective national Olympic committees”.
Russia is accused of altering lab data to remove positive tests, at a time when the data was held by Russian law enforcement.
Handing over the data was meant to clear up past cover-ups and smooth Russia’s way back into global sports after years doping scandals.
The WADA committee has proposed a package of sanctions including a four-year ban on hosting major events in Russia and a similar four-year sanction on Russians competing in top events like the Olympics, though they could enter as neutrals.
While admitting that outcome of the final vote can directly affect the Olympic team, Pozdnyakov stressed the selection process is under way and Russia will compete in Tokyo no matter what.
WADA’s executive board will vote on the recommendation December 9.
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