LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — A landmark hearing in the Russian doping saga was confirmed Tuesday to go ahead despite travel and health restrictions during the current coronavirus spike in Switzerland.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport said the four-day hearing would open Monday and consider the World Anti-Doping Agency’s case to rule Russia non-compliant for four years after alleged state-backed tampering of data from the Moscow testing laboratory.
The slate of punishments proposed by WADA includes a ban on Russia’s flag, anthem and team name at the Tokyo Olympics next year and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. It would also apply to world championships for the next four years including soccer’s World Cup finals tournament in Qatar.
Russian athletes implicated in doping or whose data was manipulated would be barred from those events, and Russia would be blocked from bidding for or hosting world championships.
Russia’s anti-doping agency, known as RUSADA, did not accept the evidence and conclusions which forced the dispute into an arbitration case before three judges at the highest court in sports.
CAS said the hearing will be held at a secure and undisclosed location in Lausanne with no access to people not directly involved in the case. Some will take part remotely by video link.
Third parties who asked to be involved include the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, ice hockey’s world governing body and the Russian affiliates of all those organizations, plus some Russian athletes.
A verdict is not expected for at least several weeks.
Switzerland has experienced a steep rise in COVID-19 infections. Of the 127,000 cases confirmed this year, more than 23,000 were since last Friday.
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