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Russia's global sports ban reduced to two years

The Court of Arbitration (CAS) has ruled that Russia's ban from global sports be upheld, however, has decided to reduce the ban from four-years to two.

Sanctions were put against Russia by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), after it found widespread doping violations, as well as attempting to sabotage ongoing investigations by manipulating computer data.

The anti-doping agency for Russia, Rusada, had hoped to completely overturn the ban and can appeal to the Swiss courts on the decision.

The decision means that Russia will be unable to compete at the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and the Beijing Winter Games in 2022. Outside of the Olympics, the Russian national football team will not be able to compete at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Some Russian athletes will be able to compete at sporting events but they must do so as 'neutral-athletes', meaning that the country's flag and national anthem will be barred from the sport that the athlete is competing in. Mikhail Bukhanov, the acting director of Rusada, said he welcomed the decision not to ban all Russian athletes, stating "'clean' athletes should not bear responsibility for the actions of a few crooked athletes who broke doping rules".

CAS said in its ruling: “This panel has imposed consequences to reflect the nature and seriousness of the non-compliance [to doping controls] and to ensure that the integrity of sport against the scourge of doping is maintained.

“The consequences which the panel has decided to impose are not as extensive as those sought by Wada. This should not, however, be read as any validation of the conduct of Rusada or the Russian authorities.”

Author: Jake Wilkin