Russia challenges WADA doping ban

Russia on Friday formally contested its ban from major sporting events over doping violations, the head of its RUSADA anti-doping agency said.

"In accordance with the established procedure, today we have sent a package of documents to WADA," RUSADA director general Yury Ganus told reporters in Moscow.

"The package contains a notice about a disagreement with WADA sanctions."

Ganus also said he had sent a letter to WADA informing the anti-doping of his personal stance.

"I regret to inform you that all my attempts including attempts to introduce changes to the RUSADA notice have failed," said the letter.

Ganus, who has long argued for a major crackdown by Russia against doping cheats, told AFP on Thursday that "it is practically impossible" to contest the WADA ban.

WADA this month banned Russia for four years from major global events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, over manipulated doping data.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the sanctions politically motivated, indicating a lengthy legal battle loomed.

He argued that the majority of Russian athletes were clean and should not be deprived of the right to compete under the Russian flag due to the actions of some individuals.

Ganus, whose rigorous stance puts him at odds with his own government and supervisory board, argues that Moscow needs to accept the sanctions and own up to its faults in order to be able to reform.

Speaking to AFP, Ganus said he had however to relay the decision of the supervisory board.

"This is not our decision," he stressed.

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