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Russia barred from competing at next 2 Olympic Games, World Cup

By
Don Jacobson
A team of neutral athletes from Russia play Germany in the men's hockey gold medal game during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, at the Gangneung Hockey Centre In Gangneung, South Korea, on February 25, 2018. File Photo by Andrew Wong/UPI
A team of "neutral" athletes from Russia play Germany in the men's hockey gold medal game during the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, at the Gangneung Hockey Centre In Gangneung, South Korea, on February 25, 2018. File Photo by Andrew Wong/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Global sporting authorities ruled on Thursday that Russia will be banned from all major international competition, including the Olympic Games, for two years as part of a doping case.

The decision was issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

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Under the ruling, Russia is barred from the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo next summer, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The ruling also prohibits the display of the Russian flag and the playing of its national anthem at all international events until 2023.

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Russian teams were also barred at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea over the issue of doping. Athletes who met certain requirements were allowed to compete under the banner of "Olympic Athletes from Russia." Russian athletes will be given the same opportunity to compete neutrally under the new ban.

Thursday's penalty cuts in half a four-year ban ordered by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which accused Russian sports authorities of failing to deliver "authentic" testing data.

WADA imposed its ban a year ago and supported the findings of an independent investigatory committee that determined the Russian Anti-Doping Agency was "non-compliant" with the World Anti-Doping Code.

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The Russian officials were found to have manipulated data from their Moscow laboratory in an attempt to mislead investigators. Russia appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which led to Thursday's ruling.

"This panel has imposed consequences to reflect the nature and seriousness of the non-compliance and to ensure that the integrity of sport against the scourge of doping is maintained," the judges said.

"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 ... the Russian authorities."

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The judges said they hope the ban will "effect cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport."

The decision is expected to be adopted quickly by the International Olympic Committee and various sporting federations.

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