Russia bans use of name and flag at next two Olympics


GENEVA – Russia was banned on Thursday from using its name, flag and anthem at the next two Olympic Games or at any world championships for the next two years.
The decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport also prevented Russia from running as a candidate to host major sporting events for two years.

Russian athletes and teams will still be allowed to participate in the Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing next year, as well as the world championships, including the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, s’ they are not involved in doping or concealing positive tests.

The penalties are lower than the four-year ban proposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

A small victory for Russia is the name of the team proposed at major events. The name “Russia” may be retained on uniforms if the words “Neutral Athlete” or “Neutral Team” have the same significance, the court said.

Still, the three court judges have imposed the toughest penalties on Russia since allegations of state-sponsored doping and cover-up emerged after the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The case centered on accusations that Russian state authorities tampered with a Moscow test lab database before turning it over to WADA investigators last year. It contained probable evidence to prosecute long-standing doping violations.

The CAS process was formally taking place between WADA and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency. The Russian agency, known as Rusada, was declared non-compliant last year – a decision confirmed by the three judges on Thursday.

Rusada was also ordered to pay $ 1.27 million to WADA.

In a four-day hearing in Lausanne last month, Russian athletes and their lawyers participated as third parties arguing that they should not be punished for misconduct by state officials. not working in sport.

Handing over the lab’s database to WADA by the December 2018 deadline was a key condition for Rusada’s reinstatement three months earlier when a previous expulsion from the anti-doping community was lifted.

WADA investigators in Moscow finally obtained the data a month late. Evidence of doping tests and emails appeared to have been deleted or altered, and whistleblowers were involved.

The move allows Russian government officials, including President Vladimir Putin, to attend major sporting events if invited by the host country’s head of state.

WADA investigators traveled to Moscow two years ago to collect the database and start verifying evidence that would help sports governing bodies pursue alleged doping violations dating back several years.

Although Russia is not bound to host world championships in the next two years, the events can be picked up. The governing bodies were urged to find a new host “unless it is legally or practically impossible to do so”.


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