Russia’s four-year doping ban should be thrown out by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to prevent further damage to the Olympic Movement amid the coronavirus crisis, the country’s Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has claimed.
Matytsin said the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the CAS judges should “turn a new page” by overturning the range of sanctions imposed on Russia as punishment for the manipulation of the Moscow Laboratory data.
Russia is appealing the four-year package of punishments, which includes a ban on the nation’s flag at the Olympic Games, at the CAS.
Hearings in the case have been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and are not set to start until July at the earliest.
Matytsin, a well-connected official in the Olympic world owing to his position as President of the International University Sports Federation, urged those involved in the proceedings to consider the impact of a ruling against Russia during the pandemic.
The leaders of the IOC, WADA and the judges who will decide the ruling should understand that now we’re living in completely different conditions and this crisis which has been created, including the crisis in relationships, should probably come to an end, turn a new page and understand that the main thing right now is to be together,” Matytsin said.
“When you see that everyone is isolated and everyone is at home, the consciousness changes, the mentality changes and people understand that now there are priorities and there are issues which go on the backburner.
“The priority is the future of the Olympic movement, it’s the consolidation of the whole international sporting community.”
Matytsin reiterated that his country is ready to host international sports tournaments, including Olympic qualifiers that have been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
According to TASS, Matytsin has welcomed tournaments being moved to Russia when they would otherwise be cancelled or postponed indefinitely and highlighted the Olympic qualification events, that have been affected in many Olympic sports including basketball and boxing.
Russia will be ready and we have forwarded our proposals to Russian national sports Federations for them to get in touch with the international Federations to offer them assistance with the cancelled tournaments, particularly with the qualifying tournaments for the 2021 Olympics.
“Russia is ready to extend a helping hand to organise sports tournaments in our country.”