Russia has been banned from the next summer and winter Olympic Games and the 2022 World Cup after the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the Court of Arbitration for Sport found their Anti-Doping Agency non-compliant.
A three-judge panel unanimously agreed that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) failed to provide authentic drug-test data upon request by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), although the two-year ban is half the length requested by Wada.
It means the Russian name, flag and anthem will not be allowed at either Tokyo 2020 or Beijing 2022, and should Russia qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, they will have to compete under a neutral name.
Russia will also be banned from the Paralympic Games in Tokyo next summer, as well as any world championship events that are organised by a Wada signatory until the sanction concludes on 16 December 2022. Ruada will only be reinstated after the ban if it respects and observes the sanctions imposed, pays all related fines and contributions and becomes compliant with the Wada code, the Cas added.
They will not be eligible to host or bid for any Olympic, Paralympic or world championship events during the length of the ban, and the ruling states that any hosting rights that have already been awarded to them should be withdrawn if the organising governing body is registered to Wada.
However, the Cas verdict did state that ‘Russia’ can be displayed on the clothing of a neutral athlete as long as the words ‘neutral athlete’ or something equivalent is present in the same side, and the colours of the Russian flag can also be used.
Athletes who had their data manipulated or covered up will be cleared to compete under a neutral banner as long as they are not serving any active ban, which goes against Wada’s request to impose a vetting process that would have required them to prove they were not part of the doping scheme.
The ban on officials from the Russian Olympic Committee from being appointed to world bodies has also been lifted.
Russia was banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang as punishment for alleged state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, though athletes with no history of doping were allowed to compete under the the designation of ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’.
A Cas statement said: "This panel has imposed consequences to reflect the nature and seriousness of the non-compliance and to ensure that the integrity of sport against the scourge of doping is maintained.
"The consequences which the panel has decided to impose are not as extensive as those sought by Wada. This should not, however, be read as any validation of the conduct of Rusada or the Russian authorities.
"In making its orders, the panel is limited by the powers granted under the applicable law.
"It has considered matters of proportionality and, in particular, the need to effect cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport."
The ruling was met with a furious response from Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada), who labelled the decision a “devastating decision” and “catastrophic blow” for clean athletes and proof that Wada is not fit for purpose as “Russia has claimed victory”.
In a statement, Tygart said: “Usada acknowledges the devastating decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) in the Russia case that hands Wada and clean athletes a significant loss. At this stage in this sordid Russian state-sponsored doping affair, now spanning close to a decade, there is no consolation in this weak, watered-down outcome. To once again escape a meaningful consequence proportional to the crimes, much less a real ban, is a catastrophic blow to clean athletes, the integrity of sport, and the rule of law.
“While the first instinct is to express obvious shock, the fact is we should have all seen this coming. Wada and the IOC have manipulated and mishandled this sordid Russian state-doping affair from Day 1 and have put politics over principle once again. In addition to many other loopholes, this decision expressly gives IOC members from Russia special treatment and exempts them from any consequences for their bad acts that robbed sport and clean athletes.
“For years, athletes have pleaded with Wada for reform and to hold Russia accountable for carrying out the most egregious doping fraud in the history of sport. Throughout the investigation and now with this weak outcome, it’s clear that Wada - even with new leadership and promises of change - has told athletes that it did not hear them and that they don’t matter. Russia has claimed victory today and, for them and their ability to corrupt global sport, deceive the world, and cheat the global anti-doping system, they are right.”
This weekend get a £10 free bet with Betfair, when you bet £10 on a Same Game Multi on the Premier League. Terms: Min £10 Same Game Multi bet on any EPL match this Fri - Sun. Free bet valid for 72 hours, awarded at bet settlement. Excludes cashed out bets. T&Cs apply.
Join our commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies