Russia Banned From All Major Sports Events Over Doping
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has banned Russia from all global sports including the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Beijing 2022 Winter Games, and Football World Cup in 2022. It also banished Russia from hosting International sports events. However, athletes who prove that they’re not doped with performance-enhancing drugs (PDA), can attend the Tokyo games under a neutral flag.
Russia’s Doping Scandal
In 2014, Russia competed at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, hosted in its own country. It’s medal count was 33, highest ever in the Winter Olympics. The same year, German public broadcaster ARD broadcasted news that said that their athletes were sponsored by a “state governed’ doping program.
In 2015, Rusada, the country’s own anti-doping organization, was stated as non-complaint from WADA in the wake of the doping scandal. However, it was reinstated as compliant in 2018 after Rusada sent an authentic data copy of laboratory results that consisted of athletes’ data from the year 2011 to 2015.
In 2016, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) banned Russian athletes and their track fields. In the following year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) disqualified 43 Russian athletes and retrieved 13 medals from the country.
In 2017, a whistleblower revealed that Russian anti-doping experts replaced the urine samples with clean urine samples at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, which prompted another query. While Russian denied all the allegations, WADA asked for fresh data, which when studied, revealed more manipulations.
In 2018, a team of 168 Russians competed under Olympic Athlete from Russia’ (OAR) team but two of them failed drug tests. Out of 168, two of them: medal-winning curler Alexander Krushelnitsky and bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva failed the drug tests.
In September 2019, WADA stated that inconsistencies in data will lead to another suspension for RUSADA and finally recommended that they should be banned for four years from all global sports events.
WADA has unanimously voted for the ban of Russia. It has given 21 days for Rusada to appeal against the ban, and if it does, it will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The President of WADA, Sir Craig Reedie said, “For too long, Russian doping has detracted from the clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of Rusada’s reinstatement conditions demanded a robust response.”
WADA’s Vice President Linda Helleland said the ban was “not enough”. “I wanted sanctions that cannot be watered down,” she said. “We owe it to the clean athletes to implement the sanctions as strongly as possible,” she added.