Statement from the AAC on Russia CAS Appeal Ruling
by USOPC Athletes' Advisory Council
Today’s Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision regarding Russia is an insult to clean athletes. The watering down of recommendations does nothing but continue to sow distrust in the anti-doping system. There have been opportunities to show athletes that the system is working, but time and again it falls short. The most significant punishment resulting from the largest organized doping scandal in history is a rebranding of Russian uniforms with the title “Neutral Athletes from Russia.
The AAC, along with 13 other athlete groups and 14 National Anti-Doping Organizations called for structural change of WADA and supported the WADA Athlete Committee's 2017 call for CAS to increase its independence and improve the quality of its arbiters. Clean athletes have continually called for strong and independent anti-doping decisions, but today’s decision is yet another sign the that the system favors countries and sporting federations over athlete interests. While WADA is celebrating a victory, athletes are left with a façade of sanctions on a dark day for clean sport.