Following calls to reform the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the wake of its decision on Russia, one should start with reforming the IOC and the anti-doping agency WADA, the chair of Russia's Upper House has argued.
“Of course, one can speculate about the need to reform CAS, especially after the IOC was not satisfied with its decision [on the Russian athletes],” Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko said Sunday.
At the same time, she said it would then be logical to discuss the reform of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “over their inability to act in compliance with democratic procedures.”
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Matvienko was responding to the vitriolic comments of IOC chief Thomas Bach who hit out at what he termed the “extremely disappointing” CAS decision to clear 28 Russian athletes of doping allegations.
“We cannot have a situation of CAS losing its credibility with athletes… We have to do our job to make proposals so trust of the athletes can be restored,” Bach said earlier Sunday.
CAS' decision Thursday has rocked the sports world just days before the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games gets underway. In its surprise ruling, the world’s top sports tribunal cleared 28 Russian athletes of doping allegations and reinstated their status to compete.
Among those allowed to participate were cross-country skiers Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin, speed-skater Olga Fatkulina, bobsledders Dmitry Trunenkov and Alexey Negodaylo, and skeleton racer Aleksandr Tretiakov. All of them won medals during the Sochi Olympic Games in 2014.
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Russia has welcomed the decision by CAS, with Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov saying that “justice has finally been served” and that the verdict proves the athletes accused of doping violations are indeed “clean.”
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