Russia Banned From Olympic And Global Competitions Over Doping Scandal
Russian was banned from competing in international sports for four years by the World Anti-Doping Agency this week, according to The New York Times, which will include the summer Olympics in Tokyo next year.
This marks the most recent — and most severe — consequence the country has faced in the wake of a yearslong cheating scheme, The Times noted. While athletes caught up in the scandal are unable to compete, those who have not been implicated in doping could compete in international events — including the Olympics — if they do so under a neutral flag.
The decision also precludes Russia from hosting international events and bars Russian sports and government officials from attending the Olympic Games.
Details of Russia’s doping scheme first emerged four years ago, culminating with the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Some believe the current and latest punishment does not go far enough, due to the fact that many Russian athletes can still compete in Tokyo.
WADA, however, hailed the move as a tough step, The Times reported.
“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport,” WADA president Craig Reedie said during a news conference. “Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin the global antidoping 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.”
Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said WADA’s decision appeared to be “a continuation of anti-Russian hysteria,” suggesting an appeal of the decision is in order; however, he conceded that doping continues to be an issue for Russia.
“The Russian side, too, — by that I mean our sports community — still has significant problems with doping,” he said. “This is undeniable.”