Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov has said the country will appeal the decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency to ban it from major international sporting events for four years.
At a meeting on Monday in Lausanne, Switzerland, WADA’s Executive Committee voted unanimously to declare the Russian Anti-Doping Agency non-compliant, banning Russia from the Olympic Games and all world championships for a four-year period.
The step came after allegations that data handed over to WADA from a Moscow anti-doping agency laboratory in January had been tampered with.
Russia has been afforded 21 days to accept WADA’s decision or lodge an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland.
Speaking after the decision on Monday, Russian Sports Minister Kolobkov said the country intended to challenge the ban.
“RUSADA has the possibility to challenge WADA’s decision, a lot of work lies ahead,” Kolobkov said.
“The decision from WADA is contrary to the IOC [International Olympic Committee] Charter. Sanctions against members of the Russian Olympic Committee and sanctions against the flag and anthem.
“The charter clearly states that athletes perform under the flag of their country. There are no sanctions for the ROC [Russian Olympic Committee], so the issue is for consideration by CAS.”
Asked about a possible Russian challenge to the ban, WADA officials earlier indicated that they had confidence that CAS would back their decision, although they admitted it could be a “dragged out” process.