Russia was banned from the world’s top sporting events for four years including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics next summer and the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar, for tampering with doping tests.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) executive committee acted after concluding that Moscow had planted fake evidence and deleted files linked to positive doping tests in laboratory data that could have helped identify drug cheats.
WADA confirmed the Russian national team could not take part in the 2022 World Cup soccer in Qatar under the Russian flag and could participate only as neutrals. Russia can appeal the ban in the Court of Arbitration for sport, but the head of its RUSADA anti-doping agency, Yuri Ganus, said he doubted it would be successful. While admitting there have been instances of doping, Russian officials say the country is no worse than any other. Some have accused other countries of pursuing the ban to remove Russian athletes from competition.