Russian weightlifters may be left without Olympics

Russian weightlifters may be left without  Olympics

The Doping test B of a silver medalist of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Russian weightlifter, Apti Auhadov, gave a positive result, the head of the legal department of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Alexandra  Brilliantova said today.

According to her, at the request of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)  the ROC has received from the Russian Weightlifting Federation (RWF) a signed agreement  to study the B sample of the weightlifter. ‘’ On June 7th our representatives  attended its opening and analysis, alas, it confirmed to be positive ",   TASS quotes Brilliantova as saying.

Recall, on June 22nd the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said that RWF will face a one-year disqualification if another, the third test from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games would be positive after a re-analysis. Earlier the B doping tests of the weightlifters Nadezhda Evstyukhina and Marina Shainova turned out to be positive. Besides Russia, the federations of  Kazakhstan and Belarus can face the disqualification due to the results of the samples.

On June 17th  the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) decided unanimously to uphold the disqualification of the All-Russian Athletics Federation. Thus, the Russian athletes will not be able to take part in the Summer Olympics in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

Before that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had reported a massive evasion of the Russians from taking the doping tests, and on June 6th the six Russian weightlifters were disqualified for doping.

The Russian Olympic Committee in cooperation with the National Weightlifting Federation of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are considering the possibility of appeal in the court the legality of the adoption by the IWF the rules on disqualification of the national federations for a year, when three or more doping samples from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games are positive, Alexandra Brilliantova said, R-Sport reports.

‘’The Russian Olympic Committee in cooperation with the National Weightlifting Federation of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, which also fall under this rule, are now considering an appeal to overturn the decision, if it is not challenged and reversed. We will appeal against the norm, which was adopted earlier by the International Weightlifting Federation. We will not appeal against the presence of illicit drugs in the samples - we will challenge the legitimacy of the application of this rule, " Brilliantova said.

ROC on behalf of the Russian athletes will submit a class action lawsuit in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) at the IAAF decision of June 17th, preventing the "clean" athletes from Russia to participate in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the head of legal management of ROC said.

‘’ROC is as a single plaintiff, representing the interests of all Russian athletes eligible to participate in the Games, will appeal the decision to CAS. The application is now being prepared and will be filed in the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne. The international team of lawyers has been assembled to file a class action on behalf of all athletes, who are able to prove their innocence to a breach of anti-doping rules and the fulfillment of all criteria for fair’’,  she said.

The Head of the Legal Department of ROC explained that the interests of the Russian athletes will be defended by a British, Swiss, American and possibly a German. "They have a great experience in winning the cases against the IAAF. We have picked them precisely on this basis,’’  Brilliantova said, noting also that CAS may consider a class action lawsuit of ROC in an expedited manner.

"If the three Russian weightlifters are suspended for doping at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, a new generation of the athletes should not suffer due to this. If the international federation will remove RWF, it will be a won case,’’ Vitaliy Mutko said today on the TV channel ‘Match TV’.

The Sports Minister called the possible disqualification of RWF and the removal from the weightlifting performances at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro after three positive doping tests of the Russian athletes a nonsense.

"I understand that the IWF is guided by the IOC position. It does so to protect itself and to show that it has not been sleeping for ten years. They woke up a month before the Olympics and decided to clean up the mess in the weightlifting. This is an absurd - to change the rules during the game,’’ Mutko said.

"Why not four samples instead of three, for example? The law is not applied retroactively, and IWF has such a right. How can an athlete be punished for the one who broke some law in 2012? Not any IWF document provides for the disqualification the samples of the previous Games, " the minister added, saying that the decision of IWF may be challenged not only in the CAS, but also in the civil court. ‘’ Quiet a bold decision, to say the least, and it will be challenged in the CAS, and, if necessary,  in the civil courts.", the minister added.

"The decision of the Federation has no political component,"  the creative producer and host of Vesti FM, Gia Saralidze, told in an interview with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza.

"In contrast to the International Association of Athletics Federations,  for several years there are clear rules against doping in weightlifting. If three athletes are caught for doping, the team is disqualified from the competition,’’  the analyst said.

Of course, the IWF decision, if it is taken, can be challenged in the court. But in any case, the 2016 Olympics just around the corner, and the time factor is against us. Good news is that the International Weightlifting Federation has not yet made a decision on a disqualification of RWF in connection with the three positive doping tests of the Russian weightlifters. ‘’ The congress took no action in respect of the Weightlifting Federation of Russia",  the press service of the IWF reported today.