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Russia Gets 4-Year Ban By World Anti-Doping Agency

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Russia has been handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada). This means the Russian won’t be winning any medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. But strangely athletes who can prove they are “natural” will be able to compete under a neutral flag. Wada's executive committee made the unanimous decision to impose the ban after Russia's Anti Doping Agency was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2019. They also had to hand over data to WADA after a three-year suspension for its vast state-sponsored doping program! Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said,

"For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport…Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin the global anti-doping 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."

A total of 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after the country was banned following the 2014 Games, which it hosted in Sochi. Russian athletes won 33 medals in Sochi, 13 of which were gold.

History of Performance Enhancing Drug Use In Russia 

Rusada was initially declared non-compliant in November 2015 after a Wada-commissioned report alleged widespread corruption in Russian track and field athletics. A further report declared Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the "vast majority" of summer and winter Olympic sports!

In 2018, Wada reinstated Russia as compliant after they agreed to release data from their Moscow laboratory from the period between January 2012 and August 2015. However an informant released documents that proved that Russia had left out incriminating evidence from the data they submitted which prompted a new inquiry! Wada's compliance review committee (CRC) recommended a raft of measures based "in particular" on a forensic review of inconsistencies found in some of that data. As part of the ban, Russia may not host, or bid for or be granted the right to host any major events for four years, including the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Drug Informant Grigory Rodchenkov  

Former Russian anti-doping official Grigory Rodchenkov fled to the United States after he went public about Russia’s state-sponsored doping programme. Here’s what he had to say on the situation,

"Finally, fraud, lies and falsifications of unspeakable proportions have been punished in full swing…Those involved in the corruption of certain sports such as track and field, weightlifting, skiing, biathlon and bobsled, should be punished retroactively. The results of the London and Sochi Olympic Games should be reanalysed and reconsidered with the new knowledge available today…We only have a few months to reanalyse the samples from the 2012 London Games because, according to Wada rules, we only have eight years to review…There is a whole generation of clean athletes who have painfully abandoned their dreams and lost awards because of Russian cheaters. We need to take the strongest action to bring justice back to sport."

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