Russia has been ruled out of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics as well as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar following a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), ABC News can report.
The country, as part of the ban also risks losing the right to host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
However, athletes from the country who are not implicated in the scandal can compete in the events as independent participants, although the flag and the Anthem of Russia will not be entertained at any of the events.
The ban, a unanimous decision by Wada’s executive committee Monday, follows investigations that found Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (Rusada) culpable of tampering with laboratory records given to investigators in January this year.
In November 2015, a Wada report indicted of “state-sponsored” doping in Russian track and field athletics which led Rusda being declared non-compliant and subsequently banned.
Subsequently in July 2016, Russia was found by a further report to have operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports.
They were later returned in 2018 for being “obedient” when Rusada agreed to publish reports from its Moscow laboratory from January 2012 and August 2015.
But it emerged that pages of the report containing positive findings were missing, informing a decision to investigate further.
Russia however has up to 21 days to file an appeal against the decision.
Sir Craig Reedie, President of Wada held that the move signified that his outfit has the “determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis”.
“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,” he said.
For his part, the Prime Minister of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev believes the development is a sign of animosity against his country although he admits doping is a major issue in Russia.
“It is obvious that significant doping problems still exist in Russia, I mean our sporting community,” he stated adding that “this is impossible to deny.”
“But on the other hand 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.”
“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.”
However Wada’s Vice-President, Linda Helleland does not think the measures taken are punitive enough.
“I wanted sanctions that cannot be watered down. “We owe it to the clean athletes to implement the sanctions as strongly as possible,” he said.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in a statement indicated that “those responsible for the manipulation of data from the Moscow laboratory before it was transferred to Wada appear to have done everything possible to undermine the principles of fair and clean sport, principles that the rest of the sporting world support and adhere to.”
“This sincere lack of respect towards the rest of the global sporting movement is not welcome and has zero place in the world of sport. It is only right that those responsible for this data manipulation are punished,” it added.