- Russia has been banned from the Tokyo Olympics.
- Russian athletes can compete under a neutral flag.
- The Russian flag and anthem will be banned for the next 4 years at the Olympics.
It is official, Russia has been banned from participating in all major sporting events for the next four years. The WADA announcement came today in response to noncompliance by Russia. The World Anti-Doping Agency is a foundation initiated by the International Olympic Committee headquartered in Montreal to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sports. It was established in the 1999. It enforces The World Anti-Doping Code, which is the document that harmonizes regulations regarding anti-doping across all sports and all countries of the world. The Code provides a framework for anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations for sport organizations and public authorities.
- Forms the list of banned substance.
- Provides accreditation and control for the laboratories, who collect testing samples.
- Informs athlete of the anti-doping programs and the ramifications of doping.
- Informs sports governing bodies of athletes involved in failed doping probes.
Russian athletes will miss the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The WADA ruled in favor of such a ban, due to Russia’s failure to provide cooperation in the doping investigation. However, Russian athletes will be able to participate as neutral participants. Therefore the Russian flag or anthem will not be allowed at the event.
The WADA accuses Russian athletes of doping in the following sports:
- Power lifters- 41
- Taekwondo- 2
Russia does not have a good record with doping scandals. It is unknown who is fully funding Russian athletes, outside of the Russian government. Such information is not publicly available at this time.
It would be plausible for the Russian government to appeal the ban and the Kremlin has 3 weeks to do so. Russian Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev responded to the news unfavorably, but did confirm it is true Russia does have a doping issue within competitive sports. Russia is also hopeful FIFA will not ban Russia from the championship in Qatar 2022.
Furthermore, there is an accusation pertaining to one Russian programmer who entered the Moscow laboratory database a month before the database information was supposed to be given to the WADA experts. It could be seen as malicious sabotage, the question is who is the interested party that would do so?
It is possible the database entry could have been for the purposes of tampering with evidence of doping with one group of athletes and their sponsors. Another scenario could be a political sabotage, but the latter is less likely. The entries were systematic and the results in question were erased between mid 2018 to 2019. The official reason given does not stand up to logic: that the database cleaning was necessary due to server space limits. This explanation does not stand up to any scrutiny and is a feeble attempt to justify the tempering.
The right decision is to dismantle the current Russian sports governing body, since it failed to safeguard the results required by WADA. Russia is not an innocent party, knowing there is a systematic issue with transparency. Are their clean, honest athletes in Russia? Absolutely, many are but there are some that are not.
Unfortunately, the world of competitive sports has become riddled with cheats and doping globally. The human body can only do so much naturally.