WADA Bans Russia for the Next Four Years

by Dusan Randjelovic
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WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) has officially banned Russia from appearing at the next two Olympics. This means Russia will not compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

Russia failed to comply with WADA requirements

WADA’s compliance review committee (CRC) had proposed several sanctions because of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s (RUSADA) failure to cooperate fully during probes into Russian sport.

Russia was already banned from the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang but was conditionally reinstated in September 2018. However, this year Russian officials were caught trying to manipulate data from their anti-doping laboratory again this year.

Now, RUSADA now 21 days to either accept the decision or send their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

What does the ban mean for Russian athletes?

In practice, the WADA ban doesn’t mean that Russian athletes will not participate in major competitions for the next four years. They will, but as neutrals – without the national flag and anthem of Russia, just like the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.

Every Russian athlete that is planning to play in next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo will need to be approved by WADA to be eligible to compete. EURO 2020, in which Russia will host both a group stage and quarter-final match, will not be affected by the ban, as well.

Should Russia qualify for the World Cup 2022 in Qatar though, they will have to compete as neutrals. Hosting rights for major international events will also be withdrawn from Russia.

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