Russia to appeal Olympic Games ban

Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA sent a formal letter on Friday disputing the sanctions

epa07609586 Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Moldovan President Igor Dodon (not pictured) on the sidelines of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, 29 May 2019. Heads of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia), Moldovan President as head of an EAEU observer state and Tajikistan's President as a guest of honour arrived in Kazakhstan to sum up the results of work of the EAEU over the past five years and outline tasks for expanding interaction in various areas.  EPA/ALEXEY NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK / KREMLIN POOL / POOL MANDATORY CREDIT
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Russia has confirmed that it will appeal against its four-year Olympic ban for manipulating doping data.

The Russian anti-doping agency, known as RUSADA, sent a formal letter on Friday disagreeing with the sanctions imposed earlier this month by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The case is now heading to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Next year's Olympics in Tokyo will be the third consecutive games preceded by a legal battle over Russian doping issues.

RUSADA said it “disputes the (WADA) notice in its entirety," including the evidence of tampering with the data archive.

RUSADA's own CEO, Yuri Ganus, attached his own note of protest to Friday's letter.

Mr Ganus is critical of Russian officials and had disagreed with the decision to appeal.

The WADA sanctions ban the use of the Russian team name, flag or anthem at a range of major sports competitions over the next four years, including next year's Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup.

However, Russian athletes will be allowed to compete as neutrals if they pass a vetting process which examines their history of drug testing, and possible involvement in cover-ups at the lab.

Earlier this month Russian President Vladimir Putin had said that Moscow had grounds to appeal the decision and said the move violated the Olympic charter.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has also urged sports organisations to appeal and said the ruling was “a continuation of this anti-Russian hysteria which has already become chronic”.