‘Russia should apologise for doping scandal’

Wada vice-president Linda Helleland has been left frustrated that the organisation could only give Russia a four-year ban from international sporting events.

Russian athletes will only be able to compete at next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo under neutral flags and the 2018 FIFA World Cup hosts will not be able to appear at the following edition in Qatar thanks to the ruling.

But Helleland, a Norwegian politician who has been in post at WADA since 2016, wishes her organisation could have gone further in punishing “the biggest sports scandal” ever.

“I’m not happy with the decision we made today. But this is as far as we could go,” she is quoted as saying by AP.

“This is the biggest sports scandal the world has ever seen. I would expect now a full admission from the Russians and for them to apologize on all the pain all the athletes and sports fans have experienced.”

Russia has repeatedly claimed that edits to the data were made by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s national anti-doping laboratory, who turned star witness in the WADA investigation.

In issuing the ban, WADA stated that: “This entire fiasco created by Russia has cheated far too many athletes of their dreams and rightful careers, for far too long.” – Eurosport

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