Russian cyclists' lawsuit against McLaren, WADA dismissed in Canada

MONTREAL — A lawsuit filed against Canadian law professor Richard McLaren and the World Anti-Doping Agency by Russian cyclists has been dismissed.

McLaren, who teaches law at Western University in London, Ont., was appointed by WADA to lead an investigation into alleged state-sponsored doping by Russia.

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Dmitry Sokolov, Dmitry Strakhov and Kirill Sveshnikov were due to compete in the team pursuit at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, but they were excluded after McLaren composed a report for WADA alleging widespread doping coverups in Russian sports.

None of the three riders were ever suspended for doping on the basis of the report. They took the matter to the Canadian legal system in 2017.

The Superior Court of Ontario dismissed the case last month and the appeal period has now expired, WADA said Wednesday in a statement.

Ontario's court ruled the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, has exclusive jurisdiction over such sport-related matters. CAS dismissed the cyclists' case in 2016.

"Our investigation was thorough, professional and our findings were beyond question," McLaren said in WADA's statement. "CAS is an independent institution specifically set up to resolve sports-related disputes.

"The plaintiffs' claims always belonged there for resolution. Not in the provincial court system."

Legal costs and disbursements were awarded in favour of WADA and McLaren.

— With files from The Associated Press.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2020.

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