Russian sports minister Oleg Matytsin says CAS should put doping scandal on 'backburner' in light of COVID-19 pandemic

·1-min read

The Russian sports minister says it's time for international authorities to "turn a new page" and forget the country's Olympic doping ban because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Anti-Doping Agency barred Russia from the Olympics for four years after ruling last year that doping data from a Moscow laboratory had been manipulated. The Court of Arbitration for Sport is to rule on whether the ban is valid but hearings have been delayed because of the health crisis.

Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin says the virus outbreak means the parties in the legal proceedings should avoid a ruling against Russia because it would fracture the Olympic movement.

He adds that "when you see that everyone is isolated and everyone is at home ... people understand that now there are priorities and there are issues which go on the backburner. The priority is the future of the Olympic movement."

Matytsin says sanctioning Russia would damage the Olympic movement and says the country is prepared to host more international sports events once the virus outbreak recedes.

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