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Russia slapped with a doping ban; will miss the 2020 Olympics and the 2022 FIFA World Cup

In one of the biggest news developments recently, Russia has been handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). 

This would mean that Russia will not be allowed to use its flag and national anthem at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar will also not feature Russia. The athletes who can prove themselves innocent can participate under a neutral flag. 

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Courtesy: India Today

WADA’s Executive Committee concluded to ban Russia in a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on the ninth of December, Monday.

Russia’s Anti-Doping Agency, also known as RUSADA, were found non-compliant for maneuvering the laboratory data further handed over to the investigators in January, this year. 

As per WADA, RUSADA has a period of 21 days to take action against the ban. Once the action is taken, it will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

Russia has almost always been in the headlines due to issues regarding doping. A staggering number of 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag in the winter in Pyeongchang because of the country being banned, following the 2014 games.

In the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russian athletes won 33 medals, out of which 13 were gold. 

Russia will still compete in the Euro 2020 as it is not considered as a ‘Major Event’ and ‘UEFA’, which conducts the event, is not considered as a major event organization.

All this started with Russia being non-compliant in 2015 after a report commissioned by WADA’s sports lawyer, Professor Richard McLaren, alleged widespread corruption leading to doping that was state-sponsored in Russian tracks and field athletics.

A similar scenario occurred in 2016 again, and then three years later WADA reinstated RUSADA as compliant after it agreed to release data hidden in Moscow, in the time interval between January 2012 and August 2015.

Further, a whistleblower from 2017 was missing from the January 2019 data which led to a fresh inquiry. As it stands, Russia may not even host or bid to be granted the right to host any major events for four years.

Cover image credits: Nikkei Asian Review

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