Sports Tribunal CAS halved Russias four-year suspension. A year ago, World Anti-Doping Agency WADA decided to exclude Russia from all global sporting events for another four years.
At the World Championships and the next two Olympic Games in Tokyo (2021) and Beijing (2022), the Russian flag remains unseen and the Russian national anthem are not heard, as the WADA ordered. Nor will Russian government officials be welcome at sporting events over the next two years.
From December 2022, the Russians will be able to return to their own flag. “However, this does not validate the conduct of Rusada (the Russian anti-doping agency, red.) or the Russian authorities,” writes the CAS in a statement accompanying the ruling.
Under neutral flag
Individual athletes will only be allowed to participate under neutral flag in the next two Games and World Championships. How, and in what numbers different international federations allow this, is still unknown.
According to Sylvia Barlag, board member of the global athletics federation World Athletics, Russian athletes will only be allowed to enter international athletics tournaments once the Russian Athletics Federation is reinstated in favor of World Athletics.
In this case, a maximum of ten Russian athletes who train abroad and are controlled under neutral flag may rejoin.
The WADA came to its decision last December on the recommendation of a committee of inquiry, which had found tampering with data from the Moscow doping laboratory. Test results of Russian athletes, who were handed over to the WADA after a long tug of war, were found to be manipulated or partially removed. Also, e-mails from officials were forged.
In 2015, after research by the German broadcaster ARD, a state-controlled doping program came to light. During the Sochi Games, the Russians were found to have tampered with urine samples on a large scale.
Olympic athletes from Russia
Since then, the Russian sport has been under constant suspicion and several suspensions have been pronounced. Russia was still allowed to participate in the Rio Games in 2016, although the International Athletics Federation decided to exclude the Russians as a country from all athletics parts.
At the 2018 Winter Games, the global suspension was already in force, so the Russian flag was not visible in Pyeongchang. Well, Russian athletes did with it. The National Ice Hockey Team won the gold as Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) .