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Last Updated : Dec 09, 2019 06:13 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Russia banned from Olympic Games, 2022 FIFA World Cup and other major events in doping scandal

If RUSADA appeals the sanctions endorsed by WADA's executive committee, the case will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), WADA has said.


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) slapped a four year ban on Russia from all major sporting events for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2019. The ban means Russia will not be able to participate in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the football 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Russia has been under investigation following a 2015 report commissioned by WADA which uncovered evidence of mass doping among Russian athletes. In September 2018, WADA lifted the three-year suspension which followed the state-sponsored doping scandal, over conditions which included Russia providing access to laboratory data and samples.

WADA's executive committee have now taken the decision of enforcing the ban after concluding that Moscow had tampered with the laboratory data it submitted by planting fake evidence and deleting files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped identify drug cheats.

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A spokesperson for WADA committee's said the decision to punish Russia with a ban was unanimous.

Russia, which has tried to showcase itself as a global sports power, has been embroiled in doping scandals since 2015 when whistleblower and former head of Moscow's anti-dopting laboratory Grigory Rodchenkov revelaed that Russian intelligence services had helped by devising a way of opening and resealing urine containers previously believed to be tamper-proof.

RUSSIA DOPING CASE_A TIMELINE

Its doping woes have grown since, with many of its athletes sidelined from the past two Olympics and the country stripped of its flag altogether at last year's Pyeongchang Winter Games.

The sanctions imposed on December 9 had been recommended by WADA's compliance review committee in response to the doctored laboratory data provided by Moscow earlier this year.

One of the conditions for the reinstatement of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, which was suspended in 2015 in the wake of the athletics doping scandal but reinstated last year, had been that Moscow provide an authentic copy of the laboratory data.

The sanctions effectively strip the agency of its accreditation.

Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov last month attributed the discrepancies in the laboratory data to technical issues.

The punishment, however, leaves the door open for clean Russian athletes to compete at major international sporting events without their flag or anthem for four years, as was the case during the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Some Russian officials, meanwhile, have branded the call for sanctions unfair and likened it to broader Western attempts to hold back the country.

If RUSADA appeals the sanctions endorsed by WADA's executive committee, the case will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), WADA has said.

(With Inputs from Reuters) 

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First Published on Dec 9, 2019 04:52 pm
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