BREAKING NEWS

Russia Banned From All Sporting Events

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Russia has been banned from all major sporting events for four years by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) as punishment for a string of state-sponsored, doping-related offences and the country’s repeated brazen efforts to mislead authorities.

Wada's executive committee made the unanimous decision to impose the ban on Russia in a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday. Her president Sir Craig Reedie said the decision showed its "determination to act resolutely in the face of the Russian doping crisis".

"For too long, Russian doping has detracted from the clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of Rusada's reinstatement conditions demanded a robust response.

"That is exactly what has been delivered.

"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 of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial."

However, Wada vice-president Linda Helleland said the ban was "not enough".

"I wanted sanctions that can not be watered down," she said. "We owe it to the clean athletes to implement the sanctions as strongly as possible."

Russian athletes, flag and anthem won’t be allowed at next year’s Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing or at any of the global events governed by the WADA. Athletes of Russia descent who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.

FIFA said it had "taken note" of Wada's decision, adding: "Fifa is in contact with Wada to clarify the extent of the decision in regards to football." But for Euro 2020, Russia will compete.

Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said the ban was part of "chronic anti-Russian hysteria".

"It is obvious that significant doping problems still exist in Russia, I mean our sporting community," he said. "This is impossible to deny.

"But on the other hand the fact that all these decisions are repeated, often affecting athletes who have already been punished in one way or another, not to mention some other points - of course, this makes one think that this is part of anti-Russian hysteria which has become chronic."