Russia has been banned from global competitions for the next four years after being found guilty of doping.
The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) came to the unanimous decision on Monday, which will see the nation banned from competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Toyko along with the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar amongst other high-profile events.
This came after the global anti-doping watchdog’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC) called for the sanction after accusing Moscow of falsifying laboratory data handed over to investigators.
WADA’s punishment relates to inconsistencies in data retrieved by WADA in January 2019 from the Moscow lab at the center of the 2016 McLaren report, which uncovered a widespread and sophisticated state-sponsored sports doping network.
Their report found the Russian state conspired with athletes and sporting officials to undertake a doping program unprecedented in scale and ambition.
“The full list of recommendations has been unanimously accepted,” a spokesperson from WADA said.
It means that athletes from Russia must prove themselves to above doping suspicion to be allowed to compete, where they will compete under a neutral flag and anthem.
This was seen at the 2018 Winter Olympics, where 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag in Pyeongchang, which was referred to as ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’ after the country was banned following the 2014 Games.
WADA says RUSADA has 21 days to appeal against the ban and if it does so, the appeal will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Russia can still compete at Euro 2020, where St Petersburg will be a host city as UEFA is not defined as a ‘major event organisation’ with regards to rulings on anti-doping breaches.
more to come