Another International Federation looks set to keep its World Championships in Russia, despite the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ordering them to move major events due to be held before December 2022 out of the country.
The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) is to inform the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that it would be "legally and practically impossible" to move its 2022 World Championships from Russia, according to a draft document seen by insidethegames.
It claims withdrawing the Championships from the scandal-hit nation "could even endanger the existence of the ISSF".
The ISSF World Championships in all of its disciplines is due to be held in August 2022 at the Foxlodge complex in Ignatovo, owned by ISSF President Vladimir Lisin.
Under the terms of the range of punishments imposed on Russia by WADA and partially upheld by the CAS, the country cannot host major events for the two-year period in which they apply.
The ruling tells Federations to strip Russia of major events due to be held in the nation until December 2022 "unless it is legally or practically impossible to do so".
The ISSF is likely to be the latest to exploit this loophole in the CAS verdict, which reduced the sanction period from four years to two and significantly watered down the initial punishment handed down by WADA.
WADA wrote to all Federations with events in Russia before the sanctions expire in December 2022, asking for a written assessment and a decision on whether it is possible to reassign them to another nation.
In a "structured answer" document, which is set to be presented to the ISSF Executive Committee on Tuesday (March 16) before it is sent to WADA, the ISSF argues it cannot move its flagship event outside of the Olympic Games from Russia.
The ISSF cites a possible legal challenge from the Russian Shooting Union (RSU), which it claims could sue the organisation for breach of the hosting contract and pursue legal damages of around €6 million (£5.2 million/$7.2 million), among the main reasons why it is unable to relocate the Championships.
It appears the ISSF has agreed to pay the Lisin-owned Foxlodge complex the sum and any other damages if the World Championships are cancelled.
The ISSF claims only four other countries - China, South Korea, Qatar and India - could stage the event "without the need for large-scale construction".
Shooting's worldwide governing body also highlights how Russia was the only bidder for the 2022 World Championships, and initiating a new bidding procedure "would put the entire organisation" of the event "in great danger".
It claimed a move to 2023 was also not feasible as the 2022 event is due to form part of the qualification process for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, and would also violate its own statutes, which stipulate the World Championships take place in 2022.
"It is practically impossible to withdraw the hosting rights regarding the 53rd ISSF World Championships from the RSU and to reassign it to another country, in particular considering the lack of alternative hosts and the limited time left for the preparations for this event in particular in these challenging times for all of us," the ISSF writes.
"In addition, it is also highly questionable whether withdrawing such rights would be legally possible and therefore, such action would bear a considerable risk of high damage claims, which could even endanger the existence of the ISSF."
Failure to adhere to the ruling could see WADA, which defines "major events" as World Championships or the Olympic Games, trigger a non-compliance procedure against the ISSF.
Exclusion of the sport from the Olympic Games is the most severe punishment available to the global watchdog for non-compliance with the Code.
WADA will have to assess the explanation from the ISSF before enacting a possible non-compliance procedure.
"As with all cases of events covered by the CAS decision, WADA will assess the information provided by the International Federation and will determine whether this position is in line with the CAS decision or could lead to a non-compliance situation," WADA said when contacted by insidethegames.
The International Federation of Sport Climbing confirmed last month that it was keeping its 2021 World Championships in Moscow.
Russia is also due to host the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup this year, and the men's Volleyball World Championship in 2022.
The country lost the hosting rights for the 2022 World Wrestling Championships following the CAS verdict.
United World Wrestling instead awarded Russia its flagship event in 2023, which falls outside the sanction period.