In response to the CAS decision to reduce doping sanctions against Russia, New Zealand Olympic Committee President Mike Stanley makes the following statement:
“The New Zealand Olympic Committee stands for integrity and a fair field of play for all athletes.
"We have noted today’s decision from CAS to impose a two-year ban on Russia from global sporting events, including the Tokyo Olympic Games and Beijing Olympic Winter Games towards which our athletes are working so hard.
"We, and many of our athletes, supported the four-year proposed ban by WADA and are disappointed to see it significantly reduced.
"We do note that CAS has nonetheless stressed the reduced term in no way vindicates Russia’s complete disregard for integrity in sport.
"We also note that there is a pathway for clean Russian athletes to take part in the upcoming Olympic Games as ‘neutral’ however are disappointed the Russian colours may be worn. We call on the IFs and IOC to implement a fair, transparent and evenly applied system for clean athletes to take place.
"The upcoming editions of the Olympic Games will be incredibly challenging for athletes and we urge all measures be taken to ensure they have the utmost confidence in a fair field of play, underscored by the highest degrees of respect and integrity.
"We acknowledge WADA has meanwhile embarked on a process towards governance reform. We urge them to work towards a new structure with a majority of independent directors that places a respected and valued athlete voice at its core.“
Meanwhile, New Zealand Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission Chair Sarah Cowley Ross also expressed her disappointment.
“We are disappointed and frustrated in the reduced sanctions announced today.
"When an athlete arrives on the start line they deserve a fair and clean competition. We urge those in power to hold those who repeatedly compromise the integrity of sport to account.”