Russia is looking at a four-year ban from all sports at all sporting events after reports of deleted drug tests surfaced. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is investigating the data handed over by Russia in January. The panel has also accused Russia of handing over false data to the investigators.
Russia is likely to battle the ban in Switzerland, at the court of Arbitration for Sport, if the sanctions for the ban are approved by the WADA Executive Committee. The decision over the sanctions will be taken in a meeting in Paris on December 9, 2019. If the sanctions are approved, Russia is likely to face a ban from the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The nation won’t be able to bid for any major international sporting events like the Euro 2020 football tournament.
According to WADA some of the data was deleted in December 2018, just before it was handed over. The data seems to be related to the doping scandal in 2016-2017. WADA also suggested that someone in the laboratory had planted fabricated messages to support the theory of Grigory Rodchenkov adding false entries into the data.
Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has already faced a previous three-year ban after it was discovered that files related to state-supported doping program were deleted. WADA is looking at a set of punishments for Russia if the sanction is approved. Russian government officials might not be allowed to attend any sporting events.
The athletes from Russia can still compete in any sporting event if they can prove their non-involvement in any of the doping scandals, similar to the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The Russian athletes who were above suspicion were allowed to participate as ‘Olympic Athletes from Russia’ under an Olympic Flag.
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