World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned the Russian Athletics Federation from all major sporting events, which includes the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, 2021 World Championships and 2022 FIFA World Cup. WADA’s executive committee, meeting in Lausanne, decided that the sporting powerhouse be handed the four-year suspension after accusing Moscow of falsifying laboratory doping data handed over to investigators earlier this year.“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA’s reinstatement condition demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today,” WADA president Craig Reedie said in a statement.
Russia found itself tangled in a doping scandal after a 2015 report by WADA stated that the body found evidence of mass doping among Russian athletes. Many were sidelined from the past two Olympics and athletes were stripped of the Russian flag altogether at last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping cover-ups at the 2014 Sochi Games. Not only will Russia be ruled out of the next Olympic cycle, but Russian government officials will be barred from attending any major events, while the country will lose the right to host, or even bid, for tournaments.
Under the sanctions, Russian sportsmen and women will still be allowed to compete at the Olympics next year but only without their flag or anthem as was the case during the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics. “They are going to have prove they had nothing to do with the non-compliance, they were not involved in the doping schemes as described by the McLaren report, or they did not have their samples affected by the manipulation,” Fitzgerald said.