After lengthy deliberations, Russia has been handed a 4-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).
This means the Russian flag and anthem will not be allowed at major sporting events which will include the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

However, athletes who are able to prove they are untainted by the recent doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.

In the meeting that took place in Lausanne, Switzerland the WADA authorities came to a unanimous decision

It came after Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (Rusada) was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2019.

It had to hand over data to Wada as a condition of its controversial reinstatement in 2018 after a three-year suspension for its vast state-sponsored doping scandal.

Wada says Rusada has 21 days to appeal against the ban. If it does so, the appeal will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said the decision showed its “determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis”.

“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of Rusada’s reinstatement conditions demanded a robust response.

“That is exactly what has been delivered.