Russia will not be allowed to fly its flag, use its name, or play its national anthem at the next two Olympics because of a state-sponsored doping scandal. The ban also applies to any world championships for the next two years and prevents Russia from bidding to host major sporting events.
Russian athletes and teams will be allowed to participate in the rescheduled Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, and the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. The athletes will compete as neutrals "on the condition that they are not subject to a suspension imposed by a competent authority, that the uniform worn does not contain the flag of the Russian Federation and contains the words' neutral athlete,' and that the Russian national anthem is not played or sung at any official event venue," the Court of Arbitration for Sport said in its ruling.
The court did allow athletes to have the word "Russia" on their uniforms, as long as it has equal prominence to the words "Neutral Athlete" or "Neutral Team."
The World Anti-Doping Agency wanted to place a four-year ban on Russia after an investigation uncovered a state-sponsored plan to alter drug test results during the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
"We are, however, disappointed that the CAS panel did not endorse each and every one of our recommended consequences for the four-year period we requested," WADA president Witold Banka said in a press release. "These are still the strongest set of consequences ever imposed on any country for doping-related offenses."
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