IOC, Paralympics join Russian doping court case

January 17, 2020

BONN, Germany (AP) — The International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee want to have a say on Russia's doping ban.

With Russia facing a four-year ban on its name and anthem at major events including the Olympics and Paralympics, the IPC said Friday that both bodies filed a formal “notice of intervention” in the Court of Arbitration for Sport case which will decide the matter.

The IOC and IPC said they just want to make sure the punishment is clear-cut.

“The only purpose of this intervention is limited to the interest of the IOC and the IPC that the pronounced sanctions are clear, leave no room for any interpretation and can be applied without any further procedures,” the two organizations said in a joint statement.

"The purpose of this intervention is not to intervene in the assessment of the consequences or sanctions by CAS.”

IOC president Thomas Bach has previously said he doesn't welcome blanket sanctions of the sort imposed on Russia.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has accused Russia of handing over doctored computer data from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory to conceal past cover-ups. WADA also says fake evidence was planted to discredit its star witness, former lab director Grigory Rodchenkov.

The case at CAS is technically between WADA and the Russian anti-doping agency, but third parties are allowed to have a degree of involvement if they would be affected by the sanctions.

The Russian Olympic Committee and Russian Paralympic Committee both said they had filed to seek that status Friday. They want Russian athletes to compete under their own flag - unlike at the 2018 Winter Olympics - and with no extra checks on their eligibility.

In the event CAS upholds the sanctions, then Russian athletes would face extra vetting using the lab database to indicate whether they ever benefited from cover-ups. That could mean more legal disputes in the run-up to the Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo this year.

“By participating as a third party, the ROC will stand up for the rights of Russian athletes and Russian sports federations to compete under the Russian flag and for equal qualification conditions and access for Russians at the Olympic Games and other competitions,” the Russian Olympic Committee said in a statement.

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