The World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Executive Committee unanimously endorsed the recommendation made by the independent Compliance Review Committee that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code for a period of four years.
Sir Craig Reedie, president of the WADA stated, "The ExCo’s strong decision today shows WADA’s determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis, thanks to the Agency’s robust investigatory capability, the vision of the CRC, and WADA’s recently acquired ability to recommend meaningful sanctions via the Compliance Standard which entered into effect in April 2018. Combined, these strengths have enabled the ExCo to make the right decisions at the right time.
"For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA’s reinstatement conditions, approved by the ExCo in September 2018, demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today. Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial. As a result, the WADA ExCo has responded in the strongest possible terms, while protecting the rights of Russian athletes that can prove that they were not involved and did not benefit from these fraudulent acts."
The decision handed down will not allow Russia as a country to compete in major sporting events such as World Cups, World Championships, or the Olympics. The decision comes after Russia's anti-doping agency (RUSADA) was declared non-compliant over manipulating lab test results in January 2019.
The statement goes on to list a series of consequences. It can be read, in full, on the WADA's website
How this impacts Russian cycling athletes is not yet clear, but according to the statement, athletes in cycling events, which include cross-country, BMX, road, and track, can compete as individuals not under a national banner proven they can show they were not involved in doping issues in any way.
Russia has fielded strong MTB athletes in the past and there are a number of elite and junior racers who could race in Tokyo. Irina Kalentieva won the 2007 and 2009 World Championships and took a bronze medal in Beijing, however, she announced her retirement
at the end of this past season so she is unlikely to be at the start line. Anton Sintsov, another Russian athlete, is currently ranked 22nd in UCI men's elite rankings.
We reached out to Anton to see how this announcement could impact him. He had this to say:
Jonathan Taylor, Chair of the WADA Compliance Review Committee, states, "If an athlete from Russia can prove they were not involved in the institutionalized doping programme, that their data were not part of the manipulation, that they were subject to adequate testing prior to the event in question, and that they fulfill any other strict conditions to be determined, they will be allowed to compete. This avoids punishing the innocent and instead stands up for the rights of clean athletes everywhere."
This is a developing story and we will update it with any further information.