Collective punishments in sports had to be left in last century, says Russian diplomat – Russian Politics & Diplomacy

Bizar Male

MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Russia believes it is inadmissible to use the principle of collective punishments in present-day sports since it is a method of the last century, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

“In the course of several years, decisions were made on the collective punishment, on the collective responsibility following specific accusations,” Zakharova said in an interview with Russian sports television channel Match-TV. “This is inadmissible.”

“The collective responsibility is something that had to be left in the 20th century without coming into the 21st century,” she continued. “This approach is inadmissible for us and we believe that such approach is inadmissible in principle not for Russia only. It must be simply forgotten, we must reject it.”

According to her, the politicization of sports is also a huge problem inherited from the past and there must be no place for it in the present-day sports.

“We are living in the modern world and realize that unfortunately elements of politicization take place, but they must be eradicated, because sports must be above politics. Politicians – from international officials, diplomats to domestic politicians – must be providing for the development of sports instead of dominating it,” Zakharova stated.

She also said that the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to prohibit Russian athletes to compete at international tournaments under the national flag of Russia and to the tune of the Russian anthem “is deeply regrettable.”

“As far as we understand, not all arguments of the Russian side were heard and taken into account [in CAS],” Zakharova added.

According to the CAS decision as of December 17, 2020, Russian athletes were deprived of their right to participate in all World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games under the national flag of Russia for the two-year period.

The national anthem of Russia was also ruled out to be played at international sport tournaments in the course of the next two years, including at the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan this year.

The ruling of the Swiss-based court also stripped Russia of the right to bid for the organization of all international sports tournaments for the period of two years. WADA’s sanctions will be in force until December 2022.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland’s Lausanne upheld on December 17 WADA’s (the World Anti-Doping Agency) previous ruling on a number of sanctions against Russian sports. In particular, CAS upheld WADA’s decision to declare RUSADA (the Russian Anti-Doping Agency) as non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code. The court, however, ruled to cut the previously proposed four-year term of sanctions to the period of two years.

The Swiss-based court said in a statement on December 17 that the CAS Panel “unanimously determined RUSADA to be non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code (WADC) in connection with its failure to procure the delivery of the authentic LIMS data (Laboratory Information Management System) and underlying analytical data of the former Moscow Laboratory to WADA” in the period between 2012 and 2015. The Russian authorities deny accusations of manipulation.

CAS held hearings on a legal debate between RUSADA and WADA in the period between November 2 and 5, 2020. Appointed judges in the CAS case between RUSADA and WADA were Mark Williams (Australia), Luigi Fumagalli (Italy) and Hamid Gharavi (France).

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