Russia banned from Olympics for four yearsLast updated on Dec 09, 2019, 04:55 pm
On Monday, Russia was banned from the Olympics and all other major sporting events for four years by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) over doping charges.
This means that the country's flag and anthem will not be allowed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Football World Cup, to be held in Qatar.
This decision was taken by WADA's executive committee in Switzerland.
Russia's reputation has got it banned in the past too
Russia's doping practices have been drawing criticism for long, and have also led to similar bans in the past.
In 2016, for example, Russian track and field athletes were barred from Rio Games. In September 2018, the country's Anti Doping Agency (RUSADA) was reinstated and promised to work on the lines of international standards.
But the facade soon slipped and RUSADA was slammed.
Russia was supposed to share data, it gave forged information
As part of its reinstatement, RUSADA was asked to hand over testing data from its Moscow laboratory by December 31, 2018. This exercise opened a can of controversies.
The investigators got the data in January 2019 and on comparing it with the information given by a whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, they learned of several discrepancies.
As per probing teams, Russia planted "fabricated evidence".
Now, Russia can appeal in 21 days
Handed over a setback, Russia has 21 days to appeal. But the road to reclaiming honor won't be easy, especially when WADA is convinced of Russia's ill actions.
The body's vice-president Linda Helleland said a ban isn't enough.
"I wanted sanctions that can not be watered down. We owe it to the clean athletes to implement the sanctions as strongly as possible," she said.
However, Russian athletes can still compete under a neutral flag
Unsurprisingly, Russia has denied a large number of allegations and called it a conspiracy. The numerous bans, however, haven't stopped Russians to compete in sporting events.
Athletes who can prove they are "untainted" can participate under a neutral flag. At last year's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, 168 Russian athletes competed in this manner.
But the ban means Russian officials can't attend the games.