Russia Banned From Olympics, World Cup Over Doping Concerns

The country will be forced to sit out the Olympics as well as the World Cup

Russian Olympic Committee building is seen in Moscow, Russia after The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) handed a four-year ban to Russia for major sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 World Cup on December 09, 2019. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Russian Olympic Committee building is seen in Moscow, Russia after The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) handed a four-year ban to Russia for major sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 World Cup on December 09, 2019. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / December 9, 2019 10:42 am

The World Anti-Doping Agency announced Monday (Dec. 9) that it will ban Russia from international sports — including the 2020 and 2022 Olympics and the 2022 World Cup — for four years in the wake of the country’s doping scandal which resulted in a similar ban from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport,” the agency said in a statement. “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.”

The punishment will be similar to the 2018 decision, which allowed Russian athletes who have not been implicated in doping to compete individually in the Olympics in neutral uniforms. They are not allowed to raise their country’s flag or play its anthem while they collect their medals.

Russia has 21 days to appeal the decision, something that their prime minister Dmitry Medvedev encouraged, though he admitted that there is work to be done to clean up Russian athletics.

“The Russian side, too, by that I mean our sports community, still has significant problems with doping,” he said. “This is undeniable.”

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