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Olympics and World Cup ban for Russia


Right call: Sir Craig Reedie
Right call: Sir Craig Reedie

By Phil Blanche

Russia has been banned from the 2020 Olympics and the 2022 football World Cup.

The World Anti-Doping Agency yesterday confirmed a four-year ban from all major global sporting events, after considering recommendations from its independent compliance review committee (CRC) that Russia had manipulated laboratory doping data.

WADA said the decision was unanimous and its president Sir Craig Reedie accused Russia of choosing "deception and denial" rather than getting its house in order.

Russia has 21 days to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, while individual Russian athletes untainted by the scandal will be able to compete independently under a neutral flag.

Reedie said: "The ExCo's (executive committee) strong decision shows WADA's determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis, thanks to the agency's robust investigatory capability, the vision of the CRC, and WADA's recently acquired ability to recommend meaningful sanctions via the compliance standard which entered into effect in April 2018. Combined, these strengths have enabled the ExCo to make the right decisions at the right time.

"For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order, but it chose to continue in its stance of deception and denial."

However, Russia will be able to compete at Euro 2020. European football's governing body does not fall under the definition of a Major Events Organisation.

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