Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin has claimed the country’s bid for the Rugby World Cup would not be impacted if the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) loses its appeal against World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sanctions.
RUSADA is appealing a four-year package of sanctions WADA handed down to Russia in December 2019 following alleged manipulation of Moscow Laboratory data.
Chief among the sanctions is a ban on Russia's flag appearing at either the Tokyo 2020 or Beijing 2022 Olympics, while the country would also be prohibited from bidding for any World Championships for four years and could be stripped of ones it has been awarded.
A decision is expected next month by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Russia has said it is plans to bid for 2027 and 2031 Rugby World Cups.
Matytsin says he does not believe the bids would be impacted, should RUSADA fail in its appeal.
"As far as I understand, even with the toughest decision made by the WADA Executive Committee, the ban on holding international competitions in the Russian Federation applies only to a four-year cycle, and there it was only about the impossibility of applying for the Olympic Games in 2032," Matytsin said, according to Russian state news agency TASS.
"I don’t think that somehow this negatively affects Russia's desire to host the 2027 or 2031 Rugby World Cup."
World Rugby announced changes to its bid process earlier this week.
Independent experts and the Rugby World Cup Board will provide a "risk-based technical evaluation" of bids, which is to be considered by the Council before it decides on hosts via an open vote.
There will be no recommendation of which bid should be successful, unlike the process to award the men's 2023 Rugby World Cup.
The results of the -electronic vote will be published, while World Rugby has also committed to publishing bids and the evaluation report.
A change has also been made to the voting system, whereby if there is a joint-nation and single-nation bid for the same World Cup, all the nations concerned will be able to vote, although the joint-nation bid will be capped at a maximum of three votes.
The bidding process for the next two men's and women's World Cups will formally open in February 2021 and conclude in May 2022 with a Council vote.
In a first for the sport, all four tournaments will be awarded at the same time.
This will include the men's tournaments in 2027 and 2031.
Russia has said it will lodge bids for the tournaments.
The country will face competition from Australia for the 2027 World Cup.
A desire for the United States to stage a World Cup has also been expressed.
The Rugby World Cup is rugby union's premier international 15-a-side international tournament, and held every four years.
The 2025 and 2029 women’s Rugby World Cups will be on offer during the upcoming bidding window.
Russian Rugby Federation (FRR) chairman Igor Artemiev hopes the country’s experience of hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup will boost their chances of being named host of either the 2027 or 2031 tournaments.
"We have the legacy of the FIFA World Cup, tremendous experience in hosting competitions," he said, according to TASS.
"In this regard, we assess our chances of hosting the World Cup in 2027 in comparison with competitors as equal.
"But if it does not work out, then we have 2031 year."
TASS also reports that the FFR will not hold an elective Congress in 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis.
One had been due o take place on November 20.