Russia to challenge WADA ban at CAS
Yury Ganus fears the worse
While it was expected that Russia would challenge the WADA 4-year ban of its athletes at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), it came as a complete surprise that Yury Ganus, Russia’s own anti-doping Czar, openly criticized Russia’s appeal and strongly felt that it was best to accept the 4-year ban:
“As the head of the national anti-doping agency I had to inform our sports authorities about all possible consequences…My stance is defined by risks, which are very substantial. Firstly, it will be a public hearing. Secondly — it is most important and probable — there will be a chance of new players appearing in the case and they may demand to toughen sanctions instead of easing them.” (TASS)
A devastating political tsunami of historic dimensions has been set into motion and is surely going to completely wipe out and reshape Russian sports for decades to come. Most of Russia’s leadership is in denial and has absolutely no idea of what is coming…
Several high-profile figures in the sports world are also calling for a sweeping 4-year ban of all Russian athletes, significantly toughening the WADA decision of December 9.
WADA vice-president, Linda Helleland , for example, admitted that the current sanctions aren’t strong enough and that Russian athletes should be banned from all sporting competitions.
As well, sports authorities from the US and Britain have launched legal proceedings against WADA’s recent decision, both wanting a significant toughening of the 4-year ban.
Political Consequences for FIDE
Curiously, FIDE is likely to be the hardest hit of all IOC members once the 4-year WADA ban is put into effect.
Not just because the majority of prestigious tournaments are organized in Russia (FIDE’s leadership has ‘bragged’ that Russia can always be counted on as the organizer of last resort), but because FIDE has effectively become a vassal of the Russian Chess Federation these past 2 decades since Russian oligarchs wrestled away outright political control from FIDE.
One obvious consequence of the WADA ban in 2020, for example: the King Salman World Rapid & Blitz Championships would probably be eliminated for good. Russia would certainly not be able to hold any ‘world’ chess championship, and then it is inconceivable that any Western nation would tolerate such a rogue event on its territory.
Further, FIDE’s own anti-discrimination regulations would prohibit such an event taking place in Saudi Arabia itself.
But the worse case scenario , should the WADA ban be toughened, is that FIDE would likely enter into melt down mode. All Russian chessplayers would be essentially grounded for a 4 year period, limited to internal Russian events that would not count for ELO or anything of that nature.
All Russian funding of international chess events (and of FIDE itself) would come under increased scrutiny and the possibility of US sanctions against FIDE’s leadership would escalate. Without Russian money, FIDE would quickly become insolvent.
One possible solution: FIDE will permanently expell Russia from its membership in 2022. That would effectively destroy the model of modern chess set up immediately after the end of WW2. Does anyone have the balls to bet on it?