CHEATERS: Russia Banned From Olympics, World Cup For Doping
Russia got the boot from international competition for the next four years, which means their many athletes will miss both the 2020 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and the 2022 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. They will also miss the World Cup soccer championship in Qatar in 2022.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) executive committee announced the decision at the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. The committee was unanimous in punishing Russia, which the agency accused of falsifying data from an anti-doping laboratory.
“Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order … but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial,” WADA president Craig Reedie said.
The ruling means Russia’s flag, name and anthem will not appear at the Tokyo Olympics. But Russian athletes can still compete in some major events as long as they are not implicated in past positive doping tests and if their data was not manipulated by the anti-doping laboratory.
Russia, which has been caught cheating several times, is getting used to the treatment, the Associated Press reported.
For soccer’s 2022 World Cup, WADA said the Russian team will play under its name in the qualifying program in Europe. If it qualifies to play in Qatar, the team name must be changed to something neutral that likely would not include the word “Russia.”
At the past two track and field world championships, Russians competed as “Authorized Neutral Athlete.” A softer line was taken ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games, when the International Olympic Committee suspended the Russian Olympic body yet allowed athletes and teams to compete as “Olympic Athlete from Russia.”
Going forward, “they cannot use the name of the country in the name of the team,” WADA president-elect Witold Bańka told The Associated Press.