The decision taken by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) earlier this week to ban Russian athletes from competing in the 2020 Olympics does not come as a surprise.
WADA received criticism in the last few weeks for not being strict and disciplining Russia for its state wide doping program.
WADA finally decided that it was time for it to send a strong message to Russia and the rest of the world. The organisation issued a ban on Russia preventing it from not only competing in the 2020 Olympics but also at the 2022 Olympics and 2022 World Cup.
Olympic athletes put in tremendous work and effort for years in order to be able to make it to the world stage, represent their country and see if they can win an Olympic media.
This dream for many Russian athletes will not come to fruition due to the WADA ban but ironically a lot of Russians Olympic athletes are in support of the ban.
The general consensus between former and current Russia athletes is that Russia finally got what they deserved. The ban effectively prevents Russia from participating in the Tokyo Olympics and the FIFA 2022 World Cup. However, Russia will be able to compete at Euro 2020 as UEFA is not considered a major event organisation.
This is not the first time that Russia has faced heat from WADA as the country was banned for three years for state wide doping. Russia came back in 2018 but controversies still surrounded Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (Rusada) who was accused of manipulating lab data. WADA launched an investigation into the matter and asked Rusada to provide data to help with the investigation but no data was submitted.
As a result, WADA made the decision in Switzerland earlier this week to declare Russia as non-compliant. Rusada has up to 21 days to appeal the WADA ban but is unlikely to do so as Rusada believes they have very little chance of winning in court.
Athletes Can Perform Without Representing Russia
WADA has made it clear that Russian athletes who have no history of doping can take part in the Olympics and World Cup. However, they will not be allowed to represent Russia and must take part independently. This means they cannot display the Russian flag or uniform nor will the Russian anthem be played for them at these events.