One of the major talking in the sporting world this year has been Russia’s ban from sports after World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had found them guilty of manipulating laboratory data that was handed over for investigators in 2019. Russia had appealed their ban in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). There was no respite for Russia as CAS made the judgement against them, reducing the ban to two years on December 17.
As a consequence of this judgement, Russia will not be able to take part in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next year. They will also not be able to compete in the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. CAS also stressed in their statement that the reduction of the ban is not a sign of giving Russia any reprieve or validation of their actions. They will also not compete in the Beijing Olympics in 2022.
Russian sports found itself in trouble when there were allegations of vast state-sponsored doping. The nation was suspended from sports for three years in 2018 by WADA. However, they were reinstated back quickly on the condition that WADA will be getting access to the laboratory data. WADA was heavily criticised for reinstating Russia from suspension, but the European nation didn’t comply and eventually paid for tampering with laboratory data.
WADA has given some sort of lifeline to Russian athletes by allowing at most ten athletes under neutral flag will be allowed in the Tokyo Olympics. It remains to be seen whether there will be changes to that rule after the judgement from CAS. Along with not participating in sporting events, Russia will also not able to host sporting events during the ban. The strong precedent set by WADA and CAS will make sure that doping is taken seriously across the globe.