By Kyle Encarnacion
MANILA — Unless invited by the Prime Minister or head of state of the host country, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other government officials, such as Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin, are barred from attending the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo, the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and in other World Championships.
Also, Russia’s flag and anthem will be banned from the Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 Olympic Games, as ordered by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as punishment for the manipulation of the Moscow Laboratory data.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) halved the four-year period of sanctions imposed by WADA.
As such, only Russian athletes who meet certain criteria will be able to compete as neutrals at events including Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar — should the nation qualify — under the decision rendered by the CAS.
The decision also penalized the country not to be able to host, or be granted the right to stage, any major events during the two-year period where the sanctions apply and it must be stripped of any World Championships it has already been awarded that are due to take place between now and December 16 2022 “unless it is legally or practically impossible” to do so.
The announcement will not signal the end of the protracted Russian doping scandal, however, as it will now be up to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Federations to implement the decision, which comes into effect immediately.
WADA last December imposed a four-year package of punishments on Russia after it found data from the Moscow Laboratory had been tampered with and manipulated.
The CAS has reduced the period to two years but said this “should not be read as any validation of the conduct of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) or the Russian authorities”.
“This panel has imposed consequences to reflect the nature and seriousness of the non-compliance [to the World Anti-Doping Code] and to ensure that the integrity of sport against the scourge of doping is maintained,” the CAS said in a statement. (AI/MTVN)