Russia facing Olympic and World Cup absence as WADA issues four-year ban

Russia has been banned from major international sporting events for four years after being found guilty of manipulating laboratory doping data.

The World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed the punishment in Lausanne after considering recommendations from its independent compliance review committee (CRC).

The judgement means Russia will be banned from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar.

Individual Russian athletes untainted by the scandal will able to compete independently under a neutral flag.

WADA said the decision was unanimous, but Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (RUSADA) has 21 days to appeal against the ban.

If it does so, the appeal will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

However, Russia will be able to compete at Euro 2020 next summer, which it has qualified for and is a tournament host with games due to be played at St Petersburg.

European football’s governing body does not fall under the definition of a Major Events Organisation under the international compliance code.

The CRC made its recommendations based on evidence presented to it by WADA’s intelligence and investigations (I&I) team.

Eligible Russian athletes will now have to compete under a neutral flag
Eligible Russian athletes will now have to compete under a neutral flag

The I&I team found there were inconsistencies in data handed over to WADA in January 2019 by Russia under the terms of its reinstatement to compliance in September 2018.

The data provided was inconsistent with a copy of the database supplied to WADA by a whistleblower in 2017, in that positive findings present in 2017 were missing from the 2019 data.

The I&I team found that some of the manipulation and deletion had occurred as recently as December 2018 and January 2019 – after reinstatement.

Russia has been banned from competing as a nation in athletics since 2015 when it was first declared non-compliant.