The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has issued Russia with a 4-year ban from all major sporting events such as the Olympics and World Cup.
Russia has been implicated of violating anti-doping regulations from as far back as the Sochi 2014 games.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was suspended in 2015 after it was discovered that Moscow had aided in a mass state-sponsored doping scandal which included covering up for its athletes by manipulating, altering and deleting files of athletes that had tested positive during testing.
WADA President Sir Craig Reedie came out strongly condemning Russia and went on to say:
“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA’s reinstatement conditions, approved by the ExCo in September 2018, demanded a robust response.”
“That is exactly what has been delivered today. Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial.”
“As a result, the WADA ExCo has responded in the strongest possible terms, while protecting the rights of Russian athletes that can prove that they were not involved and did not benefit from these fraudulent acts.”
Russian athletes who manage to prove that they are not involved in the on-going anti-doping scandal will only be able to participate at the Tokyo 2020 games under a neutral flag as they did at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
The implications of the ban are not only limited to the athletes but the country as a whole as Russia will no longer be able to host or bid to host any major sporting events during the time of the ban. Any events that Russia was to hold during this period are now to be relocated elsewhere.
RUSADA was reinstated in 2018 on the condition that Moscow provide a copy of all of the data they have processed. RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the decision by WADA. Should they decide to go that route then the matter will be put forward to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)