The World Anti-Doping Agency has levied a four-year ban on Russia using it;s flag, anthem, and team names at the Olympics, along with other major sports events in a bombshell announcement that hit Monday morning, according to ESPN.
The ban will deny Russia from being able to compete in next summer’s Olympics as well as the Paralympics in Tokyo and the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.
WADA’s Executive Committee voted in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday and determined that officials in a Moscow, Russia anti-doping laboratory had tampered with data, before and while the state was being forensically copied by WADA, included planting fake evidence and deleting files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped in identifying those cheating the drug tests.
Additionally, system messages were fabricated in an effort to hamper the work of WADA investigators.
The vote to ban Russia was reportedly unanimous.
And while the ban has been issued, it is possible that clean Russian athletes could compete at major international sporting events without their flag or anthem.
FIFA issued the following statement when clarifying Russia’s participation in the 2022 World Cup.
“FIFA has taken note of the decision taken by WADA’s Executive Committee today” WADA president Craig Reedie said. “FIFA is in contact with WADA and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations to clarify the extent of the decision in regards to football.”
“The ExCo’s strong decision today shows WADA’s determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis.
“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA’s reinstatement conditions … demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today.
“Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join 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.”