Russia will be barred from competing at the 2022 World Cup, with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) hitting the nation with a four-year ban from all major sporting events.
Along with football’s showpiece tournament, which is due to head to Qatar in three years’ time, the Russian flag and anthem will also be missing from the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
A WADA panel last month recommended the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be declared non-compliant again over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.
WADA’s independent Compliance Review Committee (CRC) recommended strong sanctions be imposed on Russia, including a four-year ban from competing in and hosting major sporting events.
On Monday, the body’s Executive Committee unanimously agreed with the recommendation at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
A statement from WADA President Sir Craig Reedie said: “The ExCo’s strong decision today shows WADA’s determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis, thanks to the Agency’s robust investigatory capability, the vision of the CRC, and WADA’s recently acquired ability to recommend meaningful sanctions via the Compliance Standard which entered into effect in April 2018.
“Combined, these strengths have enabled the ExCo to make the right decisions at the right time.
“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport.
“The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA’s reinstatement conditions, approved by the ExCo in September 2018, demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today.
“Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and re-join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and for the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial.
“As a result, the WADA ExCo has responded in the strongest possible terms, while protecting the rights of Russian athletes that can prove that they were not involved and did not benefit from these fraudulent acts.
“On behalf of the ExCo, and of the many WADA stakeholders that supported the CRC recommendation, I would like to thank the members of the CRC for their expert and considered recommendation, as well as WADA I&I and the forensic experts for their skill, diligence and perseverance in getting to the bottom of this highly complex case.”
RUSADA has 21 days to appeal the suspension, which would see its case referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Individual Russian athletes will still be able to enter global competitions under a neutral flag, as was the case for 168 Russians at the 2018 Winter Olympics when the country was banned.
The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a “major event organisation”, so Russia will also be free to compete at Euro 2020.
Stanislav Cherchesov’s side have qualified for the finals, where St Petersburg is one of the host cities.
Russia have been placed in Group B alongside Belgium, Finland and Denmark.