Loophole keeps Russia clear of WADA ban demands for Euro 2020

November 27 – Russia will be able to compete at Euro 2020, and play its part in co-hosting the 12-city tournament in St. Petersburg, even if a four-year doping-related ban on the country comes into effect.

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) compliance review committee (CRC) has recommended Russia be banned from hosting and competing  in major international events. Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) was declared non-compliant over inconsistencies in anti-doping data.

But next summer’s Euros will not be affected even if WADA’s executive committee and the Court of Arbitration for Sport back the proposed sanctions, due to a loophole in the rules regarding anti-doping breaches which do not define UEFA as a ‘Major Event Organisation’.

The definition states that Major Event Organisations are “continental associations of National Olympic Committees and other international multisport organisations that function as the ruling body for any continental, regional or other international event”.

Since UEFA is only concerned with a single sport, it is not covered.

Russia does, however, face being barred from the Olympic and Paralympic summer and winter Games of 2020 and 2022 while the Wada code does cover single sport world championships, raising questions over whether Russia can take part in 2022 World Cup qualifying.

A statement from FIFA on this read: “We will await the final considerations of the WADA executive committee on this matter until any potential material decision is taken by FIFA. FIFA is in permanent contact with WADA and ASOIF (the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations) in this regard.”

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