The Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland decided Thursday: Russia was banned from using its name, flag, and anthem at the next two Olympics or at any world championships for the next two years. Russia was also blocked from bidding to host major sporting events for two years. In fact, the initial sentence was reduced from 4 years. Russian athletes and teams will still be allowed to compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, as well as world championships including the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, if they are not implicated in doping or covering up positive tests, as so-called neutral competitors. The name “Russia” can be retained on uniforms if the words “Neutral Athlete” or “Neutral Team” have equal prominence, the court said.
The severe penalties on Russia were imposed since allegations of state-backed doping and cover-ups emerged after the 2014 Sochi Olympics. The CAS process was formally between WADA and the Russian anti-doping agency. The Russian agency, known as Rusada, was also ordered to pay $1.27 million to WADA. The ruling allows Russian government officials, including President Vladimir Putin, to attend major sporting events if invited by the host nation’s head of state.” This ruling is an important moment for clean sport and athletes all over the world,.” WADA’s president, Witold Banka, said.