Russia banned from all global sport for 4 years
What does this mean for Russia and its athletes?
Despite Russia being unable to compete in athletics as a nation since 2015, today saw a full four-year ban from all global sport for the nation. This will include the 2020 Olympics and the 2022 world cup in Qatar.
Sky News mention WADA’s executive committee made the decision once confirming Moscow to have tampered with data in laboratories. As well as this, WADA also discovered Russia to have produced and planted fake evidence while also deleting files related to positive doping tests of its athletes.
As of today, Russia has 21 days to appeal this decision via the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
What about those not involved in the scandal?
However, to avoid penalizing those not involved, athletes will be able to compete under a neutral flag so long as they can prove they were untainted by the doping scandal. However, it is still unclear whether those who play football will too be able to compete under a neutral flag.
The Russian flag or anthem will not be included within any event, as well as Russian officials unable to attend events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
What do others have to say?
According to the BBC, Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, said the ban was part of chronic anti-Russian hysteria…
It is obvious that significant doping problems still exist in Russia, I mean our sporting community,” said Medvedev. 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.
Leading on from this, The Washington Post mention Travis Tygart, chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, says in relation to the previous warning from WADA, that “yet another devastating blow to clean athletes, the integrity of sport and the rule of law.
WADA promised the world back in 2018 that if Russia failed yet again to live up to its agreements, it would use the toughest sanction under the rules. Yet, here we go again,” Tygart said. “WADA says one thing and does something entirely different. There is no disputing that Russia has committed the most intentional, deep and broad level of corruption on the entire sports world that has put money over morals, abuse over health and corruption over the Olympic values and all athlete’s dreams.
So, what’s next for Russia?
Whether or not team athletes competing in sports such as football will be able to compete under a neutral flag will be decided on a case by case basis. However, as it currently stands 145 cases were tampered with after Rusada was reinstated and enforced to turn over the data to WADA.
We are still awaiting the appeal of the decision from Russia, however, we can certainly expect one in the coming days or weeks.
Matthew is an avid runner, freelance writer, Durham University graduate, and the founder of Running101.