WADA Bans Russia from the Olympics for 4 years

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Context: Russian sports officials on Tuesday spoke out against a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) committee's recommendations that the country be banned from the Olympics for four years, saying this was overly harsh and would hurt sport there.

Relevance:
Prelims: Current events of national and international importance
Mains: GS III-

  • Investment models. Science and technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life Achievement of Indians in science & technology; indigenization of technology and developing new technology.

World Anti-doping agency :

  • The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world.
  • Its mission is to lead a collaborative worldwide movement for doping-free sport.
  • Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code).
  • The World Anti-Doping Code is the document that brings consistency to anti-doping rules, regulations, and policies worldwide.
  • Since 2004, and as mandated by World Anti-Doping Code, WADA has published an annual List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (List).
  • The List, which forms one of the six International Standards, identifies the substances and methods prohibited in- and out-of-competition, and in particular sports.
  • In India, the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA) is responsible for promoting, coordinating, and monitoring the doping control programme in sports in all its forms in the country.
  • The primary objectives are to implement anti-doping rules as per WADA code, regulate the dope control program, to promote education and research and creating awareness about doping and its ill effects.

Russia state-sponsored doping allegations:

  • Russia was banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from last year's Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for alleged state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
  • The committee also recommended barring Russia from hosting major sporting events for four years, and moving major events for which Russia has already won hosting rights elsewhere “unless it is legally or practically impossible to do so.”

How did these allegations unfold?

  • Over the last five years, whistleblowers and investigators have accused Russia of running a doping programme so sophisticated that it forced international federations to stop its athletes from competing in major events.
  • In September 2018, after multiple investigations, WADA lifted the sanctions on the condition that Russia handover athlete data to doping regulators from its Moscow laboratory, which would help identify hundreds of athletes who may have cheated across various sports.
  • Now, Russia has been accused of manipulating that database. This is what led to the WADA panel suggesting the four-year ban.

What did these investigations look at?

  • WADA launched an independent investigation led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren to look into the functioning of the Moscow lab. The IOC commissioned two inquiries — one of which looked into the evidence of manipulation of samples at the Sochi Games, and the other to find out the involvement of the Russian state.
  • The McLaren report laid out evidence of state-sponsored doping during the Sochi Olympics. One IOC commission, too, found dozens of Russian athletes guilty of being involved in anti-doping rule violations at those Games. The other IOC investigation confirmed that Russian authorities had developed a system that allowed the Moscow-based laboratory to change the test results and tamper with the samples collected during that event.

Will there be a new punishment imposed on Russian athletes?

  • The WADA panel on Monday recommended that Russia face a four-year ban from global sports, including the Tokyo Olympics. The proposed sanctions include:
  • Forcing Russian athletes to compete at a second straight Olympics in neutral uniforms. If they win medals, the country’s flag won’t be raised and national anthem won’t be played.
  • Russian athletes be allowed to compete in major events only if they demonstrate that they are clean and meet a number of other strict conditions.
  • Preventing Russia from bidding for new championships, and moving the tournaments the country was set to host during this period to other nations.
  • Barring Russian government officials and representatives from attending major events or from serving on the board of any organisation that has signed the global anti-doping code.



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