Russia Banned for Four Years
By Samuel Victor Akpan
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has handed Russia a four year ban from all major sporting competitions.
The decision was reached at by WADA’s Executive Committee on Monday in a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The ban comes after Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) were found to be non-compliant with the investigations into Russian sport.
Russia, therefore will not be able to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as well as the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022.
In his reaction to WADA’s decision, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the decision was part of a "chronic anti-Russian hysteria".
“The fact that all these decisions are repeated, often affecting athletes who have already been punished in one way or another, not to mention some other points - of course this makes one think that this is part of anti-Russian hysteria which has become chronic."
"It is obvious that significant doping problems still exist in Russia, I mean our sporting community. This is impossible to deny.”
However, Wada President Sir Craig Reedie while stating that the decision showed the agency’s "determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis" noted that Russia was given time to ‘clean house.’
"That is exactly what has been delivered. For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA's reinstatement conditions demanded a robust response.”
"Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin 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."
Before Monday’s decision, RUSADA had to submit data to WADA as a condition of its controversial reinstatement in 2018 after a three-year suspension for its huge state-sponsored doping scandal but they were non-compliant.
Russia President Vladimir Putin has stated that the country have grounds to appeal the decision.
WADA has also said that RUSADA has 21 days to appeal against the ban, and if it does so, the appeal will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Despite the ban, athletes from the country who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.
At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag after the country was banned following the 2014 Games, which it hosted in Sochi.