Russia appeal of Olympic ban set for sport’s highest court

Getty Images
0 Comments

GENEVA — The Russian doping scandal will return to sport’s highest court in November when the nation faces a four-year ban of its flag, anthem and colors from Olympic Games and world championships.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Tuesday its judging panel will hear evidence on Nov. 2-5 in the latest case examining allegations of state-backed doping and covering up evidence.

No timetable was given for an expected verdict in a case which should be heard at the court’s headquarters in the Olympic capital of Lausanne, Switzerland.

The sanctions will take effect when the CAS panel of three judges give its verdict.

The legal fight follows the World Anti-Doping Agency recommending a four-year slate of punishments for Russian sport and athletes last December and declaring the national anti-doping agency non-compliant.

WADA investigators found years of data from the Moscow testing laboratory relating to hundreds of athletes had been tampered with before being handed over last year.

Russian teams and athletes would be stripped of their identity by the WADA sanctions proposal and forced to compete as neutrals at major events such as the Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

Russia would also be blocked from bidding to host major championships and risk being stripped of events it was already due to host.

The hearing was required after Russia’s anti-doping agency, known as RUSADA, disputed the ruling by WADA’s executive committee at the urging of state authorities including President Vladimir Putin.

WADA’s request for the CAS hearing to be held in publicly open court was denied because all parties involved needed to give consent.

The case involves the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee, plus the Russian bodies of both organizations, and ice hockey’s governing body, the court said in February. Some Russian athletes also asked to be part of the legal process.

Data from the lab shuttered by WADA in 2015 and long sealed by Russian security agencies was demanded by the anti-doping watchdog in exchange for recognizing RUSADA’s status again in September 2018.

Russia handing over the data archive in January 2019 was meant to help resolve the scandal that has tainted the Olympic Games since 2008, and in particular the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

However, WADA investigators found evidence Russia edited the data in the weeks before the handover to remove signs of failed drug tests, and detailed an apparent attempt to smear former lab director Grigory Rodchenkov.

MORE: Russia Olympic track and field champions face doping cases

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Lucas Braathen, world’s top male slalom skier, in doubt for world championships

Lucas Braathen
Getty
0 Comments

Norway’s Lucas Braathen, the world’s top male slalom skier this season, is doubtful to compete in the world championships slalom on Feb. 19 after appendix surgery on Tuesday.

“It’s been a tough couple of days fighting after surprisingly finding out about quite an intense infection on my appendix,” Braathen, a 22-year-old soccer convert with a Brazilian mom, posted on social media. “I’ve been through surgery and I’m blessed that it went successfully.”

The Norway Alpine skiing team doctor said Braathen’s recovery will take a few weeks, but there is a small possibility he can make it back for the world championships slalom, which is on the final day of the two-week competition.

Braathen has two slalom wins and one giant slalom win this World Cup season. He will miss Saturday’s slalom in Chamonix, France, the last race before worlds. Countryman Henrik Kristoffersen and Swiss Daniel Yule can overtake him atop the World Cup slalom standings in Chamonix.

Braathen entered last year’s Olympics as the World Cup slalom leader and skied out in the first run at the Games.

ALPINE SKIING WORLDS: Broadcast Schedule

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Sifan Hassan sets marathon debut

Sifan Hassan
Getty
0 Comments

Sifan Hassan, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold and 1500m bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in an unprecedented triple, will make her 26.2-mile debut at the London Marathon on April 23.

Hassan, a 30-year-old Dutchwoman, said she will return to the track after the race, but how the London Marathon goes will play into whether she bids for the Olympic marathon in 2024.

“I want to see what I can do on the marathon distance, to make future decisions,” she posted on social media. “We’ll see if I will finish the distance or if the distance will finish me.”

Exhausted by her Olympic feat, Hassan reportedly went at least seven months after the Tokyo Games between training in track spikes. She finished fourth in the 10,000m and sixth in the 5000m at last July’s world championships in Eugene, Oregon.

“I really needed a break after the Tokyo Olympics,” Hassan said at worlds. “I was mentally crashed. I didn’t even care about running.”

London, billed as the best women’s marathon field in history, also boasts Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir of Kenya, world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya, 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia, 1500m world record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia and the two fastest Americans in history, Emily Sisson and Keira D’Amato.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!