It was on Monday a piece of news from the sports fraternity shocked the world when WADA imposed a ban on Russia from all the Global sports events for a period of four years, accusing them of tampering with doping-related laboratory data. The ban will restrict Russia to participate in the upcoming 2020 and 2022 Olympic events.
World Anti Doping Agency, WADA executive committee in a meeting at Lausanne unanimously came out with a stern decision to impose a ban on Russia, after they revealed that the Russian authorities have manipulated the laboratory data handed over to the investigators in January 2019.
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The ban clearly states that Russian Flag and anthems will be barred at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Paralympics as well as the 2022 Football World Cup event in Qatar. However, to some relief, Russian athletes who prove themselves untainted will be allowed to compete at major international events, and they will be restricted to represent themselves with their national flag or anthem, something they followed at the recent 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic event. The national football team will be restricted to participate in the 2022 Football World Cup in any form unless they successfully appeal the ban.
On Monday, WADA President Sir Craig Reedie announced a ban stating that “ For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sports, the blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA’s reinstatement conditions, approved by the ExCo in September 2018, demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today. Russia was offered every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial”.
The officials of the WADA committee accredited that Russians anti-doping are not compliant with the rules and therefore the athletes can’t compete under their flags at any of the upcoming major international sporting events.
RUSADA, Russia anti-doping agency will have 21 days to accept or sanction the ban or it may also appeal the case. The case will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for sports.
US Anti Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart strongly condemned the WADA’s move, claiming that “ To allow Russia to escape a complete ban is yet another devastating blow to clean athletes, the integrity of sports and the rule of law”.
WADA last year reinstated the Russian Doping agency on the condition that Moscow provided an authentic copy of the laboratory, but it didn’t materialize, where Russian Sports Minister last month clarified that “ The discrepancies in the laboratory data is due to the technical issues”.
Stanislav Pozdnyakov, Russian Olympic Committee president criticized the ban stating as “inadequate, illogical and excessive, of course, we are disappointed, but initially, we assumed that the recommendations of the WADA executive committee would be approved without change, especially after the main points were made public”.
Some Russian Officials expressed their views, questioning the anti-doping agency’s move as a part of Western attempt to hold back Russian success.