World Anti-Doping Agency recommendation could boot Russia from Tokyo Olympics

Click to play video: 'Anti-doping agency votes to welcome back Russians'
Anti-doping agency votes to welcome back Russians
WATCH: Anti-doping agency votes to welcome back Russians – Sep 20, 2018

World anti-doping regulators are recommending Russia be declared non-compliant again, setting up a showdown that could make the country ineligible for next summer’s Olympics.

The World Anti-Doping Agency announced Friday that its compliance and review committee made the recommendation after reviewing a case involving manipulated data from the Moscow anti-doping lab that was being used to prosecute cases.

Wait, There’s More: Does the ban on Russia from the Olympics go far enough? 

The WADA executive committee will discuss the recommendation at a meeting Dec. 9, and if it agrees, it will set in motion a process that could end with Russia being booted from the Tokyo Games.

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Under new rules created in the aftermath of the Russian doping scandal that marred the Sochi Olympics in 2014, the Russians could appeal any sanction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

READ MORE: Russia reinstated by World Anti-Doping Agency after nearly 3-year ban

The International Olympic Committee would have to abide by the decisions from WADA or the court, though its president, Thomas Bach, said earlier this week he was not in favor of a total ban.

The text of the rules currently in place say that in the case of a “critical” violation, the likes of which is confronting Russia: “The athletes … representing that country … will be excluded from participation in or attendance at the Olympic Games … for the next edition of that event, or until reinstatement (whichever is longer).”

At the last Winter Games, the IOC banned Russia as a country but allowed 168 Russian athletes to compete under the banner “Olympic Athlete from Russia.” A similar arrangement could be made for Tokyo.

The news, delivered late Friday, came only hours after track’s governing body said it was reviewing whether to continue with such an arrangement in that sport after new charges that senior officials in the country’s track federation faked medical records.

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Click to play video: 'Russia banned from 2018 Olympics'
Russia banned from 2018 Olympics

World Athletics is also considering stripping Russia’s membership. President Sebastian Coe said “we need to deal with renegade factions like this.”

In the WADA case, the sanction would be directed at Russia’s anti-doping agency, which has been revamped in the wake of a scandal that investigators showed was directed by government authorities.

RUSADA’s current leader, Yuri Ganus, has been bracing for such a decision and urging his own government to come clean, and help stamp out the embers of a scandal that has gone on for 5 years and now threatens an entirely new generation of athletes.

READ MORE: Russian doping report: How Russia pulled off state-sponsored cheating at the Olympics

WADA lifted RUSADA’s earlier suspension as part of an agreement that it would receive the data, only to later discover it had been tampered with, and that the tampering did not appear random.

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WADA said it had built more than 40 cases based on data that had not been tampered with, and corroborated information brought to the agency via whistleblowers who unearthed the case.

The scheme was designed to allow Russian athletes to dope without getting caught by substituting urine samples taken at the Sochi Games with clean ones stored from earlier.

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