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WADA Slams Four-Year Sporting Ban On Russia

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WADA Slams Four-Year Sporting Ban On Russia

Daniel Ojukwu

 

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has handed Russia a four-year ban from all major sporting activities after its Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2019.

 

The implication of this is that the Russian flag and anthem would not be allowed at Tokyo 2020 and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Athletes who can prove without reasonable doubt that they are untainted by the scandal, would however, be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.

 

The decision was made by WADA in a meeting held in Lausanne, Switzerland on Monday, allowing Russia a 21-day ultimatum to appeal the matter at the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS).

 

Wada President, Sir Craig Reedie said the decision showed its “determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis”.

 

He added: “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.

 

“That is exactly what has been delivered.

 

“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.”

 

But Wada Vice-President, Linda Hellelandwas not satisfied as she said the ban was “not enough”.

 

“I wanted sanctions that cannot be watered down,” she said. “We owe it to the clean athletes to implement the sanctions as strongly as possible.”

 

Despite the ban, Russia will be able to compete at Euro 2020 – in which St Petersburg will be a host city – as European football’s governing body UEFA is not defined as a ‘major event organisation’ with regards to rulings on anti-doping breaches.

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