Russia has been handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), including next year’s Tokyo Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
After the development, the Russian flag and anthem will not be allowed at any major sporting event. However, athletes who will be able to prove that they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.
The decision came after Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (RUSADA) was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January this year.
RUSADA now have a period of 21 days to appeal against the ban and if they do, the appeal will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
WADA Vice-President Linda Helleland, however, felt the four-year ban was “not enough”. “I wanted sanctions that can not be watered down. We owe it to the clean athletes to implement the sanctions as strongly as possible,” she was quoted as saying by the BBC.
Russia have been banned from competing as a nation in athletics since 2015.
Despite the ban, Russia will be able to compete at Euro 2020, in which St. Petersburg will be a host city, as European football’s governing body UEFA is not defined as a ‘major event organisation’.