Russia banned from 2020 Olympics and 2022 World Cup over doping scandal

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Russia have been handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events ruling them out of competing at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and the football World Cup in Qatar in 2022. The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) suspension means the Russian flag will not be displayed and their anthem will not be played at any major sporting events.

Russian athletes who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be allowed to compete at the two global events, just as they did at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

However, as was they case in Pyeongchang, they would have to compete under a neutral flag following the unanimous decision which was made during a meeting of the WADA executive committee in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) have 21 days to appeal the ban, which comes after it was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January of this year.

Russia planted fake evidence and deleted files connected to positive doping tests which could have helped identify drug cheats.

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.

WADA’S Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) team found that some of the manipulation and deletion had occurred as recently as December 2018 and January 2019.

Russia were forced to hand over the data as a condition of their 2018 reinstatement, which followed a three-year suspension for a huge state-sponsored doping scandal.

Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov claimed last month that the discrepancies in the laboratory data were caused by technical issues.

The sanctions on RUSADA effectively strip the agency of its accreditation.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – which last week halved Chelsea’s transfer ban – would hear Russia’s appeal against the ban if one is lodged.

Russia will, however, be allowed to compete at next summer’s Euro 2020 football championship, with St Petersburg one of the host cities.

Russia qualified second in Group I behind Belgium having won eight of their 10 fixtures, scoring 33 goals and conceding eight in the process.

Stanislav Cherchesov’s side have been pitted against Belgium at Euro 2020, with Denmark and Finland making up the rest of Group B.

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