Russian athletics takes case to court over IAAF reinstatement

first_imgMoscow, Sept 26 (AFP) Russian athletics, emboldened by WADA’s lifting of the three-year ban on Russia’s anti-doping agency (RUSADA), has demanded to have its ban from track and field terminated. In a statement on Wednesday, the Russian Athletics Federation (RUSAF) said it had filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) the previous day. The statement said the appeal pointed to the “unfounded decision” to put several criteria on the RUSAF restoration roadmap including the recognition by the Russian authorities of their involvement in the scheme for concealing the use of doping by Russian athletes. “The unreasonable implementation of these criteria and their presence on the roadmap for RUSAF’s restoration is in our view wrong, because it goes beyond RUSAF’s competencies,” the statement said. Russian athletics chief Dmitry Shlyakhtin also sent the letter to Sebastian Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), informing him he is taking the case to the CAS, the Times reported.- Ban no longer relevant ? -============================ Shlyakhtin argued that the reasons for the ban of his organisation and its athletes, which the IAAF imposed in November 2015, are no longer pertinent as they were the same ones the World Anti-Doping Agency used when they punished RUSADA. WADA suspended RUSADA, also in November 2015, after declaring it non-compliant following revelations of a vast state-backed scheme to avoid drug testers. “Given that the outstanding criteria for RUSAF’s reinstatement were essentially identical to those that the WADA executive committee has considered met, and that time is of the essence, we respectfully request that the IAAF decide to reinstate RUSAF as soon as possible,” wrote Shlyakhtin.advertisement The IAAF told The Times in light of the letter: “We have led the way to fight for clean athletes and we will continue to do so.” The Court of Arbitration of Sport has not yet received the appeal, a spokesman said. Coe, who has consistently been the most prominent sports administrator in taking a hard line over the doping scandal, had said following WADA’s decision to lift the ban that Russia needed to meet two pre-conditions to be allowed to return to international athletics competition. The IAAF will next broach the subject at a Council meeting in December. “The reinstatement of RUSADA was one of three pre-conditions,” he said in a statement issued by the IAAF. “The other two pre-conditions are Russian authorities must acknowledge the findings of the McLaren and Schmid Commissions that Ministry of Sport officials were implicated in the scheme to cover up the doping of Russian athletes as described in their reports. “The Russian authorities must (also) provide access to the data from testing of samples at the Moscow lab from 2011 to 2015, so that the Athletics Integrity Unit can determine whether the suspicious findings reported in the Moscow lab’s database should be pursued.” The decision to lift the ban on RUSADA was taken last week at a meeting of WADA’s executive committee but the softening of their stance triggered outrage from athletes and national anti-doping agencies around the world. They accused WADA of succumbing to pressure from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). (AFP) ATKATKlast_img read more

England 35-3 Tonga: five talking points from England’s World Cup opener

first_imgEngland rugby union team Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Rugby World Cup 2019 features There were echoes in Sapporo of England’s opener four years ago against Fiji. Back then the bonus-point try did not come until the 80th minute, here with three and a half to go, but it may not have arrived at all save for a moment of individual brilliance from Jonathan Joseph. Just as when beginning their campaign against Pacific Islanders in 2015, England were scrappy. There were 14 handling errors and four early penalties against, including one for obstruction with Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola not on the same page. When it was given Eddie Jones appeared on the big screen, furiously banging his desk. Ultimately it is a case of job done, the kick-chase functioned well, there are no injury concerns and Tonga never looked like scoring a try. You could hardly blame the waves of neutral supporters who streamed through the exits well before full-time though.Referee’s caution helps him get big decisions rightGiven the added scrutiny on referees in the opening few days it was inevitable to see Paul Williams take his time over major decisions. He and the TMO Ben Skeen communicated well whenever Williams needed assistance and Williams made the correct decision when opting against reaching for his cards after Sione Kalamafoni’s tackle on Anthony Watson. The trouble is, the first half was nearly an hour long because Williams needed Skeen’s help on four occasions in the opening 40 minutes. Early matches four years ago were plagued by endless TMO reviews which, you sense, has played at least some part in referees preferring to try and let things flow in Japan. It is not easy but the key is striking the right balance. Williams erred on the side of caution given the heat coming World Rugby’s way and he was among the best performers on the pitch. Share on Facebook Tonga shackle Vunipola and leave their markIn the first half Billy Vunipola set off on one of his many runs – in total he made 12 – but was walloped backwards by Tonga’s openside flanker Zane Kapeli. It was notable because it was celebrated like a match-winning try by the Tonga bench given the player’s rich links to the country. The head coach, Toutai Kefu, had warned that Vunipola would be targeted – and the England No 8 said he was expecting as much in the buildup – and met the tackle with a wry smile. Vunipola did not have the kind of impact he would have wanted but he was well shackled by Tonga, who often doubled or tripled up on him. All in all Vunipola made 37 metres which does not sound a lot but they are hard yards and that is the role he performs in this side. The problem was more that England were too sluggish to capitalise for large parts against Tonga. Pinterest Topics Ireland earn bonus point after powering past Scotland with physical display Joseph’s brilliance helps seal last-gasp bonus point Read more Facebook Rugby World Cup England’s centre Henry Slade is tackled by Tonga’s centre Nafi Tuitavake. Photograph: William West/AFP/Getty Images Support The Guardiancenter_img Reuse this content Read more The Breakdown: sign up and get our weekly rugby union email. Rugby union Since you’re here… Twitter Slade provides speed of thought at full-backIt was no surprise to see Henry Slade come off the bench for almost half an hour given his last match was at the start of June but to see him lining up at full-back was not necessarily expected. It is nonetheless an insight into what Eddie Jones wants from his No 15 given he could have feasibly moved Anthony Watson there had he wished. Slade does not have the pace of Elliot Daly nor Watson but he does like to join the line as the former does. He has a sharp rugby brain and a fine array of passing, giving England three playmaking options with George Ford and Owen Farrell on the pitch. It works because of the variety Manu Tuilagi brings and the havoc he can cause in the No 13 jersey, as shown with his two tries. Slade it must be said was notably rusty but it would not be a shock to see him line up in the No 15 jersey against the USA on Thursday. Manu cherishes comeback after defeating cancerThere was no better sight on Sunday than seeing Nasi Manu coming off the bench for Tonga after 58 minutes. It was Manu’s first international match since defeating testicular cancer, having been ruled out of 2018 in its entirety and undergoing months of chemotherapy. “I had tears just then,” said Manu after Tonga’s welcome ceremony last week. “I don’t think anybody knows just how much I have been through to get here.” Understandably, Manu was exhausted after the match, no doubt emotionally just as much as physically. “It was an emotional week for him,” said Kefu. “He said he needed more game time. He wants to give 100%, we’ll just keep drip-feeding him game time because he’s a bloody good player for us, on and off the field.” Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on WhatsApp Tuilagi double helps England kick off with bonus-point win against Tonga Tonga rugby union teamlast_img read more