Russia has been banned from international competition in the Olympics for the next four years due to doping.
Now, as a result, Russia’s flag, name, and anthem will be excluded at the Tokyo Games next Summer as well as the Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022. However, Russian athletes that are not implicated in the doping scandal at the moment will be allowed to compete in the Olympics and other world championships under a neutral flag.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has also barred Russian sports as well as government officials from the Games. It has even gone as far as restraining the country from hosting international events. Russia has 21 days to appeal this decision and will more than likely encounter many confrontations to allow its athletes to still participate in the major events.
The ban comes four years after a conspiracy emerged that went public at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and just a few months following recent revelations of a failed Russian cover-up that included manipulated test results. While some deem the punishment as a tough step, many think it is insufficient as a hindrance. Some critics and athletes have even gone as far and requested a blanket ban with no exceptions.
Canadian Olympian, Beckie Scott, spoke on the need for a bigger punishment stating, “The view of many is that it’s largely Superficial. It’s particularly disappointing in light of the fact that WADA had the authority and power to impose a much stronger and serious sanction, and they chose not to.”
Scott herself has previously had her bronze medal upgraded to gold after the two Russians who beat her got disqualified for being caught doping.