Russia banned from international sporting events for 4 years over doping

Access to the comments Comments
By Patrick Smith and Matthew Bodner  with NBC News World News
Image: A logo of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC)on the facade of its he
A logo of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC)on the facade of its headquarters in Moscow on Dec. 6, 2019.   -   Copyright  Alexander Nemenov

Russia has been banned from all major sporting competitions for four years after a string of controversies concerning its athletes' use of banned drugs, the Russian state-owned Tass news agency reported on Monday.

According to Tass, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Russia would not be able to officially compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo or the 2022 soccer World Cup in Qatar.

However, while the Russian flag cannot be present at events, Russian athletes can compete under a neutral flag if they are free of association with the doping scandal. Some 168 Russian athletes competed at the 2018 winter Olympics in Pyeongchang under a neutral flag.

WADA's executive board recommended a four-year ban in November this year. Russia handed over laboratory data to WADA in January as part of a deal to lift the suspension of the Russian anti-doping agency. But WADA then accused Russia of tampering with the evidence.