ROC President on the results of the extraordinary meeting of WADA’s Executive Committee

The President of the Russian Olympic Committee made an official statement following the scheduled meeting of WADA’s Executive Committee held today in Lausanne.

Stanislav Pozdnyakov:

– I regret to state that the outcome of the meeting of WADA’s Executive Committee was predictable. Of course, we are disappointed, but we initially proceeded from the fact that the recommendations of the Compliance Review Committee (CRC) would be approved by the Executive Committee members without any changes.

Especially after the main issues were publicly revealed two weeks prior to consideration by the Executive Committee. We believe that this was done in order to influence and anticipate the outcome of today’s meeting in Lausanne.

Now we need to carefully study the text of the recommendations approved by WADA’s Executive Committee and officially formulate our legal position.

The decision to agree or disagree with the sanctions of WADA’s Executive Committee, as I said earlier, will be made by RUSADA’s Supervisory Board scheduled to meet within 10 days. Prior to the Board’s meeting, RUSADA, ROC and RPC representatives are not authorized to speak out on whether they are for or against the measures.

The position of the ROC remains unchanged – the sanctions are inept, illogical and excessive. We are convinced that Russian athletes should participate in the Olympic Games in Tokyo as part of a team formed by the National Olympic Committee, as set forth in the Olympic Charter. And we will do our best for our Olympic team to perform under the Russian flag, again in accordance with the Charter.

The recommendations and WADA’s report do not indicate any charges against the ROC or the RPC. This was outlined in the official statement of the International Olympic Committee as well. However, the consequences of WADA’s directives directly affect the rights of our organizations. For example, in terms of collective restrictions on members of the ROC and RPC Executive Boards.

The proposed restrictions and their consequences will certainly adversely affect international sports federations.

We are also strongly against the set of restrictive requirements that WADA’s Executive Committee approved for clean Russian athletes. These measures, in addition to the punitive and humiliating attention in regard to clean athletes, will in no way contribute to RUSADA’s official reinstatement.

Of course, we will protect and defend the rights of our clean athletes in an appropriate manner. Ultimately, it is the athletes who become “collateral damage”. Athletes are the main protagonists in the sports world and without them there is no point in organizations, commissions or committees.

This is the most important focus point right now. Russian athletes who earned the right to compete, by participating in fair fights without violating any rules, must have the same equal conditions as their sports rivals. However, with today’s decision by WADA, Russian athletes were denied equal rights and were deprived of their civil rights to represent our country.

It is impossible to understand the position of the leaders of WADA, voiced at today’s press conference, about the inadmissibility of Russian athletes into international competitions, whose names supposedly could be in the missing parts of the database from Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory.

Punishment without evidence, as well as punishment of innocent athletes, seems to be the new standard for sanctions in sport.

The fight against doping should be conducted uncompromisingly, however, strictly within the framework of the law. Guilty parties must bear full responsibility. But the law cannot be turned into a whip for the innocent and applied selectively on national, ideological or political grounds.

Once again, I will repeat that the decision to agree or disagree with the measures proposed by WADA’s Executive Committee will be made by RUSADA’s Supervisory Board within 10 days. In the near future, a meeting of the ROC Executive Board will be held where a balanced position will be formed so that we can officially announce further steps.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that the Russian Olympic Committee is a full member of the Olympic and international sports movement. We fulfill all the necessary obligations and reserve all our rights set forth in the Olympic Charter.

We are going to rely on these rights and use them when protecting the interests of Russian athletes and Russian sport in general.