Russia banned from 2022 World Cup

Russia banned from 2022 World Cup

Russia will be barred from competing at the 2022 World Cup,with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) hitting the nation with a four-yearban from all major sporting events.

Along with football's showpiece tournament, which is due tohead to Qatar in three years' time, the Russian flag and anthem will also bemissing from the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

A WADA panel last month recommended the Russian Anti-DopingAgency (RUSADA) be declared non-compliant again over inconsistencies inanti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

WADA's independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC)recommended strong sanctions be imposed on Russia, including a four-year banfrom competing in and hosting major sporting events.

On Monday, the body's Executive Committee unanimously agreedwith the recommendation at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. A statement fromWADA President Sir Craig Reedie said: "The ExCo's strong decision today showsWADA's determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian dopingcrisis, thanks to the Agency's robust investigatory capability, the vision ofthe CRC, and WADA's recently acquired ability to recommend meaningful sanctionsvia the Compliance Standard which entered into effect in April 2018.

"Combined, these strengths have enabled the ExCo to make the right decisions at the right time. "For too long, Russian doping has detracted from the clean sport. "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.

"Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its housein order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of itsathletes and for the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue inits stance of deception and denial.

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

"On behalf of the ExCo, and of the many WADA stakeholders that supported the CRC recommendation, I would like to thank the members of the CRC for their expert and considered recommendation, as well as WADA I&I and the forensic experts for their skill, diligence, and perseverance in getting to the bottom of this highly complex case."

RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the suspension, which would see its case referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Individual Russian athletes will still be able to enter global competitions under a neutral flag, as was the case for 168 Russians at the 2018 Winter Olympics when the country was banned.

The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation", so Russia will also be free to compete at Euro 2020. Stanislav Cherchesov's side has qualified for the finals, where St Petersburg is one of the host cities.

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