LAUSANNE, Switzerland (CelebrityAccess) — International sports regulators the World Anti-Doping Agency announced it has effectively banned Russia from competing in major international sports competitions, including the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA’s reinstatement conditions, approved by the ExCo in September 2018, demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today. 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. As a result, the WADA ExCo has responded in the strongest possible terms, while protecting the rights of Russian athletes that can prove that they were not involved and did not benefit from these fraudulent acts,” a spokesperson for the WADA said on Monday.
WADA’s decision to ban Russia was based in part on inconsistencies in data reported by Russia’s drug-testing lab in Moscow that WADA officials characterized as “neither complete nor fully authentic.”
As a result of the ban, Russia representatives are barred from sitting on the committees or boards of signatory sports organizations, and Russian athletes are barred from representing Russian in the Youth Olympic Games; the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (summer and winter); any other event organized by a Major Event Organisation; and World Championships organized or sanctioned by any Signatories of the Lausanne Declaration on Doping in Sport.
However, Russian athletes who have not been implicated in a doping scandal can compete under a neutral flag at affected events.
The decision to ban Russia comes four years after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in which the IOC stripped medals from 43 Russian athletes after they were implicated in a state-run doping scheme. WADA commissioned an independent report by Richard McLaren which corroborated WADA’s findings that a state-run lab in Moscow had been switching urine samples that tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and in a four year period between 2011 and 2016 had covered up 643 positive samples across Olympic and non-Olympic sports.
Russian officials have 21 days to file an appeal of the ban with the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.