Russia To Miss 2 Olympics Despite Doping Ban Being Reduced

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The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled to alleviate Russia’s doping ban from four years to just two years. (Photo : Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled to alleviate Russia’s doping ban from four years to just two years.

For the next two years, Russia cannot send its national teams to any world sports event, while individual Russian athletes are disallowed from using their flag and national anthem. It will cover the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, 2020 Summer Paralympics, 2022 FIFA World Cup, and 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. 

The ruling also barred Russia from hosting any world sports events.

The two-year ban began on December 17 and will end on December 16, 2022.

The Switzerland-based court said that the Russian Federation could retain the name of the Soviet country on the uniform, given the words like “Neutral athlete,” “Neutral team,” and other equivalent terms of those are written. 

From the original four-year suspension issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2019, Russia’s sentence was halved.

However, WADA President Witold Banka was dismayed with their request.

“We are, however, disappointed that the CAS Panel did not endorse each and every one of our recommended consequences for the four-year period we requested.”

Last year, the investigators from WADA found out that Russia has been manipulating their athletes’ drug test results in the testing laboratories in Moscow.

The Swiss court has taken a heavy consideration of the ban reduction, despite imposing a two-year ban deduction.

“The Panel has clearly upheld our findings that the Russian authorities brazenly and illegally manipulated the Moscow Laboratory data in an effort to cover up an institutionalized doping scheme. In the face of continual resistance and denial from Russia, we clearly proved our case, in accordance with due process,” Banka added.

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However, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) pronounced its disappointment with the decision from the WADA.

Mikhail Bukhanov, the acting director-general of RUSADA, said that not all reasoning was heard during the hearing.

Furthermore, the Olympic Committee of Russia cast an ‘unacceptable’ remark to the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

In light of the Russians’ dissatisfaction, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the Olympic Committee President, eased the tension by stating that Russian athletes would still be able to join under a neutral flag under the partial ban.

Besides the $1.27 million incurred cost from WADA’s investigation, RUSADA was fined an additional $100,000 and 400,000 Swiss francs ($452,000) for the legal costs.

Last October, former NBA player-turned Russian Basketball Federation President Andrei Kirilenko told Inside The Games what he thought became an immediate effect of the sanction to the athletes.

Kirilenko said that it would become unfavorable for innocent athletes. He added that he had not experienced any doping incident in his career as a player and now as an administrator.

In 2016, the WADA launched an investigation and caught over 1,000 Russian athletes in 30 sports competing in the 2012 and 2014 Olympics. The sanction was immediately cast on RUSADA, who spearheaded state-sponsored programs for more than two years.

As of now, it was still not clear why the Court of Arbitration for Sport diminished the four-year suspension.


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