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Recommendations to WADA Against Russia Infringe on ROC Rights, Autonomy - ROC Head

According to Pozdnyakov, the ROC must not face any repercussions because it did not partake in falsifying doping results.

"Nowhere is it said that the Russian Olympic Committee participated in any manipulations with doping tests. [CRC] recommendations directly infringe ROC rights. This applies, first of all, to the members of the Executive Committee of our organization," Pozdnyakov said in a statement published on the ROC’s website.

Pozdnyakov’s comments come after Russian fencing gold medalist Sofiya Velikaya on Saturday announced her resignation from the ROC’s executive committee in order to escape possible sanctioning by WADA. Velikaya said she remained in her position as chair of the athlete’s committee within the ROC, but distanced herself from the executive committee as she plans to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"In the current circumstances, Sophia was forced to submit a resignation of a member of the executive committee of the ROC. Thus, there is direct interference in the autonomy of the Olympic movement. In this situation, the ROC will defend and protect the rights of athletes and its members, participants of the Olympic movement by legal means," Pozdnyakov went on to say in the statement.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev earlier this week acknowledged that Russia has a doping problem and called for a tougher stance against those who use prohibited substances in sports but also regarded WADA’s actions towards Russia as politicized.

At the end of last month, WADA’s Compliance Review Committee recommended to the Executive Committee several punitive measures against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), saying that Russia should not have the right to host any editions of major sports events for four years.

According to the recommendations, only "clean" Russian athletes should be allowed to compete at international sports events, under the neutral status. WADA’s executive committee will meet on Monday to consider a recommendation from the CRC that RUSADA be ruled non-compliant over allegations that it falsified doping results in 2014.

Russian athletes performed under a neutral flag in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in 2018, taking two gold medals in the process.

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