Russia banned from all global sport by World Anti-Doping Agency
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has imposed a four-year ban on Russia from all global sport, including the 2020 Olympics and the 2022 World Cup finals.
WADA’s executive committee took the decision after concluding Moscow had tampered with laboratory data.
The agency found Russia planted fake evidence and deleted files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped identify drug cheats.
Russia has 21 days to appeal the decision through the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Sky’s sports correspondent Martha Kelner has said the country is expected to appeal.
Individual Russian athletes untainted by the scandal will still be able to compete in competitions independently under a neutral flag.
Kelner said: “WADA’s decision in many ways is not a surprise because it comes after the recommendation of its compliance review committee.
“It all relates to this doping scandal which has engulfed international sport for the last few years.
“Russia, at the height of that systematic doping programme, were hoodwinking the world.
“We heard how they passed dirty urine samples through the wall of a toilet at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and switched them with clean samples.
“That was how cynical this doping programme was.”
Russia has been hit with the ban after agreeing to allow WADA investigators into its laboratory in Moscow.
The investigators found that data there had been manipulated.
Russia will still be able to compete at the Euro 2020 football tournament next summer, which it has qualified for and is a tournament host with games due to be played at St Petersburg.