Russia must expect 2020 Olympics ban: Rusada chief

Moscow: Russia must expect to be banned from the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo for inconsistencies in laboratory data sent to investigators, says the head of Russia’s anti-doping agency (Rusada).

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) said last month Russia could be banned from all major sports events over “discrepancies” in the Moscow lab data.

On Wednesday, a Wada committee will meet experts who have assessed both the data and Russia’s explanations for it.

It can then recommend sanctions.

“Russia’s Olympic squad will be prevented from participating fully in the Games in Tokyo,” said Rusada director Yuri Ganus.

“I think that this will also happen at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in China.”

Speaking to press agency AFP, he added: “Russia cannot continue any more with its old methods which have made the doping crisis worse.

“We need to get rid of the idea that the West is trying to put pressure on us.

“Russia needs to put its own house in order.”

Russia handed over data from its Moscow laboratory in January as a condition of its reintegration back into the sporting fold after a three-year suspension for a state-sponsored doping programme.

But in September, Wada opened a formal compliance procedure after the discovery of inconsistencies in the data, giving Russia three weeks to explain.

As a result, Russian athletes remained suspended for the recent World Athletics Championships in Doha by the sport’s governing body, the IAAF.

Ganus, who claims Rusada were not involved in any data manipulation because it did not have access to the database, said he believes the explanations submitted by Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov will not satisfy Wada’s queries.

He added that only certain Russian athletes may be allowed to compete “by invitation” at the 2020 Olympics, as with the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea where 169 Russia athletes who could prove they were clean were allowed to compete under a neutral flag.

Ganus is also expecting other sanctions, including fines, a ban on holding international tournaments in Russia and Russians being excluded from international sports federations.