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Russia banned from 2020 Olympics and 2022 World Cup over doping scandal

By Ben Church & Ben Morse, CNN

(CNN) -- The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has unanimously agreed to ban Russia from major international sporting competitions -- notably the Olympics and the World Cup -- for four years over doping non-compliance.

WADA's compliance review committee (CRC) had suggested several sanctions because of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency's (RUSADA) failure to cooperate fully during probes into Russian sport.

WADA's executive committee decided to uphold the recommendations at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland on Monday.

RUSADA now has 21 days to accept the decision or send the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

If upheld, the decision means Russia will be unable to compete in next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo nor the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

"For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport," said WADA President Sir Craig Reedie in a statement.

"The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA's reinstatement conditions, approved by the ExCo in September 2018, demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today."

READ: World Anti-Doping Agency accused of being 'played' by Russia


Why the ban?


WADA's punishment relates to inconsistencies in data retrieved by WADA in January 2019 from the Moscow lab at the center of the 2016 McLaren report, which uncovered a widespread and sophisticated state-sponsored sports doping network.

RUSADA was initially deemed non-compliant after the publication of the McLaren report in 2016.

Commissioned by WADA, the report found the Russian state conspired with athletes and sporting officials to undertake a doping program that was unprecedented in its scale and ambition.

The findings led to sanctions, including no Russian team being present at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, with certain eligible athletes being forced to compete under a neutral flag.

The latest ban leaves the door open for Russian athletes, who can prove they are not tainted by the scandal, to compete as neutral athletes.

Reedie continued: "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."

"As a result, the WADA ExCo has responded in the strongest possible terms, while protecting the rights of Russian athletes that can prove that they were not involved and did not benefit from these fraudulent acts."

The-CNN-Wire
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