Sport Ireland Statement on CAS decision regarding Russian Anti-Doping Agency

18 Dec 2020
David Gash

In response the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on the matter of Russian compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code, Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, commented: “2020 has been a very difficult year for sport and has been further compounded by the news that CAS has completely watered down the already weak sanctions imposed on Russia by WADA. After this entire saga that has dragged on for years, what are we left with? A ban on a national anthem and a reduced sentence for bad behaviour, including the wholescale manipulation of data after repeated attempts to stall the progress of WADA’s investigations. This is the sanction for the greatest scandal to have hit international sport.

"Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete; they will compete in Russian colours; they will compete with Russia across their uniforms. In 2016, over 280 Russian athletes took part in the Rio Olympic Games – we will potentially see situation where nearly 300 athletes from countries that play by the rules being denied a spot in Tokyo Olympics next year, with many more potentially competing in the Paralympic Games. Sport Ireland fully supports the statement of Global Athlete who speak with the voice of the clean athlete worldwide.”

Sport Ireland Director of Participation and Ethics, Dr Una May, added: “Sport Ireland has been a strong advocate for the protection on the integrity of the world anti-doping system and has in the past joined with fellow National Anti-Doping Organisations, as well as athletes, in calling for meaningful sanction to be imposed on a country that has been proven to have operated a systematic and state-sponsored doping regime. Sport Ireland will continue to fight the cause of clean athletes, who deserve more respect and to be able to compete knowing they are doing so on a level playing field.”