December 9, 2019 / 4:19 PM / a month ago

WADA sanctions are inappropriate and excessive: Russian Olympic Committee

President of the Olympic Committee of Russia Stanislav Pozdnyakov attends a news conference in Moscow, Russia December 9, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) sanctions against Russia are inappropriate and excessive, the president of Russia’s Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov said on Monday after WADA banned the country from all major sporting events for four years.

WADA has banned Moscow from events including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup, for tampering with laboratory data on doping.

“The position of Russia’s Olympic Committee remains unchanged - sanctions are inadequate, illogical and excessive,” Pozdnyakov said.

“Of course, we are disappointed, but we initially assumed that the recommendations of the WADA Executive Committee would be approved without change, especially after the main points were made public.”

He also said the Russian Olympic Committee would do everything it could to enable Russian athletes to compete under the country’s flag at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

WADA’s executive committee acted after concluding that Moscow had planted fake evidence and deleted files linked to positive doping tests in laboratory data that could have helped identify drug cheats.

Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Writing by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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