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Russia's four-year WADA ban cut in half by Court of Arbitration for Sport 


Russia global ban from every sport that signs up to Wada's code has been cut in half to two years. Photo: PA

Russia global ban from every sport that signs up to Wada's code has been cut in half to two years. Photo: PA

Russia global ban from every sport that signs up to Wada's code has been cut in half to two years. Photo: PA

RUSSIA will not be able to enter teams at the next two Olympics, the rescheduled Summer Games in Tokyo next year and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing or the 2022 World Cup in Qatar .  

But their four-year ban from global sport has been cut in half by the Swiss based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Russian flag and anthem are also banned from the two Olympics but Russian athletes who meet certain criteria will be able to compete as neutrals at these and other global events during the next two years.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had imposed a four-year ban on Russia for the manipulation of the Moscow Laboratory data.

Russia will not be able to host, or be granted the right to stage any major events during the two-year period.

The decision also bars Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Government officials, such as Sports Minister Oleg Matystin, from attending the Olympics Games in Tokyo and Beijing.

But they can attend if invited by the Prime Minister or head of state of the host country.

It is now up to the International Olympic Committee and other International Federations to implement the ban.

Infamously, prior to the Rio Games in 2016 the IOC backed away from imposing a blanket ban on Russia. Instead, they left the decision to individual world governing bodies.

So, whereas World Athletics banned Russian athletes, AIBA, the governing body of boxing, allowed the Russian team to fight in Rio.

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WADA imposed a four-year package of punishments on Russia last December after it found data from the Moscow Laboratory had been tampered with and manipulated.

CAS reduced the period to two years but said this "should not be read as any validation of the conduct of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) or the Russian authorities".

Russian athletes who have served a doping ban will not be able to represent any neutral team at the Olympics or World Atletic Championships.

However, others who were mentioned in the McLaren report which substantiated allegations of state-sponsored doping by Russia at events including the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, will be able to take part in Tokyo 2021 and Beijing 2022.

Furthermore, the Russian soccer team can qualify for the next World Cup in Qatar, but their players will be classified as neutral competitors at the event.

The CAS decision was strongly criticised by Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping programme.

He said it was ‘a weak, watered-down outcome and ‘a catastrophic blow to clean athletes, the integrity of sport, and the rule of law.’

The lawyer for the Russian whistle-blower Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow laboratory, who revealed the doping scheme in 2016 said the decision to reduce Russia’s ban was ‘nonsensical and undeserved.’

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