Due to allegations of state-backed doping and subsequent cover-up attempts tied to the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Russia has been banned from using its name, flag and anthem at the next two Olympics.
The Thursday ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which also pertains to any world championships for the next two years, also blocks Russia from hosting major sporting events for the next two years.
On the bright side for Russia, the two-year ban is just half of the four-year ban that was initially proposed last year by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Also, during competition at this summer’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing Russian athletes and teams will be allowed to use the national flag colors of red, white and blue on their uniforms.
The penalties all relate back to the Russian government being accused of ordering that results from a testing laboratory database in Moscow be tampered with in order to disguise doping.
“The (CAS) 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,” said WADA president Witold Bańka.
In addition to the sanctions, Russian anti-doping agency Rusada was ordered to pay $1.27 million to the WADA.