The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) has slapped a four-year ban from all major sporting events on Russia.
Wada’s executive committee made the unanimous decision in a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland following probe which found and subsequently declared Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (Rusada) as non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2019.
This decision means the national flag and anthem of Russia will not be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
However athletes who are able to prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.
Rusada was required to hand over data to Wada as a condition before it was controversially reinstated in 2018 following a three-year suspension for its widespread state-sponsored doping scandal.
Wada says Rusada has 21 days to appeal against the ban. Should Rusada take up its option to appeal, the matter would be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).
Speaking on the decision and its ramifications, vice-president of Wada, Linda Helleland said the ban was “not enough”.
“I wanted sanctions that can not be watered down,” she said. “We owe it to the clean athletes to implement the sanctions as strongly as possible.”