WADA bans Russia from international sporting events for four years

The World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, today banned Russia for four years, from participation in global sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, after accusing Moscow of falsifying data from an anti-doping laboratory.

WADA spokesman James Fitzgerald, speaking at a meeting of the body’s executive committee at Lausanne in Switzerland, said the full list of recommendations has been unanimously accepted.

Russia’s anti-doping agency can appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days.

The ruling means Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics as neutrals, but only if they can demonstrate that they were not part of what WADA believes was a state-sponsored system of doping.

The Russian flag and national anthem have also been banned in global events.

Fitzgerald said that participants will have to prove that they were not involved in the doping schemes as described by the McLaren report, or they did not have their samples affected by the manipulation.

The independent McLaren report released in 2016 revealed the significant extent of state-sponsored doping in Russia, notably between 2011 and 2015.

Earlier, WADA investigators and the International Olympic Committee had accused last month that evidences showed that Russian authorities tampered with a Moscow laboratory database to hide hundreds of potential doping cases and falsely shift the blame onto whistle-blowers.