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CAS sets November date for hearings in Russian doping case against WADA

03 June 2020

Hearings in Russia's long-running case against the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) are set to take place at the Court of Arbitration for Sport between November 2 and 5.

Confirmation from CAS marks the first time sport's highest court has set a firm date for the hearings in the case, triggered after the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) appealed a four-year package of sanctions imposed on the country by WADA in December.

The range of sanctions handed down to Russia as punishment for the manipulation of the Moscow Laboratory data, including a ban on the country's flag at major events including the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, will not come into force until CAS has rendered its final decision.

Should the hearings go ahead in November as planned, a verdict could come just over six months before the rearranged Olympics open are due to open in the Japanese capital.

It is not yet clear whether they will be held in person due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, CAS extended its ban on in-person hearings until at least May 17 and COVID-19 countermeasures are likely to be in place when they resume.

Hearings can also be staged via video conference and CAS can make decisions based solely on written submissions.

CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb had previously floated the possibility of the hearings being held in July, but stressed dates had not been fixed.

WADA had asked for the hearings to be held in public but its request was rejected by CAS after not all parties agreed.

The International Olympic Committee, the Russian Olympic Committee and various unnamed Russian athletes are among the "intervening parties" cleared to join the case by CAS.

A three-man panel, chaired by Judge Mark L. Williams of Australia, has been convened to decide on a case which is set to have far-reaching consequences for sport.

Williams is joined by Italian Luigi Fumagalli and Hamid G. Gharavi of Iran, and CAS said in February that the panel has already "ruled on various preliminary procedural matters".

WADA is asking the panel to uphold the series of sanctions it imposed on the country, while RUSADA is hoping they will be overturned.

Russia has been barred from bidding for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games as part of the measures and is set to be stripped of any World Championships it has been awarded.

The nation will also be prevented from submitting bids for World Championships during the four-year period if CAS rules in WADA's favour.

Athletes who can prove they were not implicated in the doping scandal or the subsequent cover-up will be cleared to compete as neutrals at major events.






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