Russia's ban appeal to be heard by Court of Arbitration for Sport

Olympic and Russian flags at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Photo: February 2014
Athletes will not be allowed to compete under the Russian flag at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics or Beijing 2022 Winter Games

Russia's appeal against its four-year ban from all major sporting events has been referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

In December 2019, Russia's Anti Doping Agency (Rusada) was declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2019.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) had controversially reinstated Russia in 2018 after a three-year suspension for its vast state-sponsored doping scandal.

But Wada's executive committee made the unanimous decision to impose the ban on Russia in a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 9 December.

Rusada sent a letter to Wada last month formally disputing the latest punishment, which bars Russia from competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics and football's 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Only athletes who can prove they are clean competitors would be permitted to compete under the ban, and would have to do so as so-called "neutral" athletes.

A total of 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Russia has been banned from competing as a nation in athletics since 2015.

The final decision in the punishment now rests with Cas, whose ruling on the matter would be binding.

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