An emergency meeting of the World Anti-Doping Agency on Monday voted to ban Russia from all major sporting events and also prevent it from hosting any global tournaments for four years. That means the Russian flag and anthem will not be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and football's 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Athletes who can prove they are clean in the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.
The ban was imposed after Russia was found to have tampered with laboratory data handed over to Wada for ending a previous three-year ban for state-sponsored doping. Russia now has 21 days to appeal the verdict.
Declaring the sanction, the chief executive of Wada, Sir Craig Reedie, said: “For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. Russia was afforded 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. As a result, the Wada ExCo has responded in the strongest possible terms, while protecting the rights of Russian athletes that can prove that they were not involved and did not benefit from these fraudulent acts.”