Russia has suffered a major blow.
On the disappointment of all sports players, the country has been banned from all competitions.
Russia received a four year world wide ban from sports events from WADA on Monday but the country will still take part in the Euros next summer and the World Cup in Qatar in three years. The World Anti Doping Agency has banned the country after they were declared non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2019.
That means that Russia can’t compete in any major sports events for the next four years, in theory. The reality is that there’s plenty of ways round it. In football they will be able to compete in the Euros next year as the UEFA competition is considered a regional competition and not a major world event. That ruling allows them to still host next summer’s competition and the 2021 Champion League final.
That distinction between world event and local means that Russia can still compete in the qualifying tournament for the 2022 World Cup as well and whilst that team couldn’t be at the tournament in Qatar the players could be there. “Russia” won’t be in the Middle East but, much like the team at the Winter Olympics last year, the players could compete under a neutral “banner” with the name and kit to be agreed with WADA.
The name wouldn’t be allowed to include the name Russia, unlike last year when athletes competed as Olympic Athletes from Russia, and there would be no national anthem or team colors from the European country. Russian flags won’t be allowed to be flown at any of the sporting events in the next four years and won’t be able to send any officials either.