On Thursday, Rudchenkov’s lawyer, Jim Walden, criticized the decision by the Sports Arbitration Court to cut it in half.
He said, “The CAS decision to ‘effectively split a child’ is illogical and unworthy.” Despite conclusive evidence of corruption, doping fraud, and obstruction of justice, including a brazen attempt to falsely incriminate Dr. Rudchenkov through fabricated evidence, the Arbitration Sport Court has once again demonstrated that it is unwilling and unable to deal meaningfully with the long-standing systematic criminality of Russia . “
Jonathan Taylor, who led the commission overseeing the investigation in Russia and recommended a longer ban, said in an interview that he had mixed feelings about the outcome of the appeal. While the committee accepted the “definitive evidence of tampering” provided by the World Anti-Doping Agency and confirmed that its new penal powers were adequate enough to withstand scrutiny, he said he questioned the rationale for the penalty reduction.
“The only difference between us is that the CAS believed that the consequences should not go beyond what the WADA suggested to deter a recurrence of this misconduct by the Russian authorities,” Taylor said. “I hope they are right about that.”
Until the release of the WADA Global Punishment, sanctions against Russian athletes and officials were sporadic, and largely left to the governing bodies of individual sports. The global track and field board of directors has always taken the tough streak, with the ban keeping Russia in the sporting wilderness for nearly five years.
By contrast, the International Olympic Committee has been reluctant to act on a larger scale, with its president, Thomas Bach, repeatedly saying that he opposes collective punishment of Russian athletes. This led to the strange sight of Russia bringing one of its biggest teams into the 2018 Winter Olympics, with the IOC’s punishment largely restricted to Russian icons, including the uniform, the team name and the national anthem.