AP NEWS

Russian Olympic Committee rejects prospect of 2020 ban

January 23, 2019

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Olympic Committee said Tuesday there is no chance its team could be banned from next year’s Olympics, even though that’s the consequence threatened by a key World Anti-Doping Agency committee if it finds Russia faked key lab data.

After Russia turned over data from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, more than two weeks after a Dec. 31 deadline, WADA said Tuesday it wouldn’t ban Russia’s anti-doping agency for missing the deadline.

However, WADA’s Compliance Review Committee has said it will recommend a blanket Olympic ban on Russia for next year’s games in Tokyo if the data — which was under guard by Russian law enforcement — has been tampered with.

“From time to time information appears that our Olympic team’s participation in the Tokyo Games is in question because of certain potentially possible new sanctions,” Pozdnyakov said in a statement. “I think that there is no basis for these kinds of fears.”

Pozdnyakov cited a comment from International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach’s New Year message that the ROC had “served its sanction.” The ROC and the Russian flag were banned from last year’s Winter Olympics over doping, but 168 people were allowed to compete as “Olympic Athletes from Russia.”

Pozdnyakov added the ROC had good relations with the IOC and WADA but didn’t directly address the issue of the lab data.

“Over the last year all the steps we have taken have been met with full support from our colleagues and I think our cooperation on all issues is constructive,” Pozdnyakov said.

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