The World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) has banned Russia from participating in the 2020 Olympics, and the Winter Games and World Cup in 2022. Russia has been banned for four years which that there will be no Russian flag and national anthem in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020 and 2022 football world cup in Qatar.

The WADA’s board held a special meeting on Monday where it was decided to shut down the International Olympic Committee’s headquarters located in Lausanne, Switzerland. Before that, a unanimous decision to ban Russia was taken at the headquarters.

However, the athletes who can prove themselves innocent in the doping scandal can still participate in the events with the neutral flag. Russians also faced a ban at the 2014 Games in Sochi and a total of 168 athletes competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang under a neutral flag. Russia has already been banned as a nation to participate in athletics since 2015.

It is a huge setback for Russia as the country has been unable to prove their athletes innocent since the 2014 Games in Sochi. However, Russian officials still have 21 days to appeal against the four-year ban imposed by the WADA. If unsuccessful, Russia as a nation will be ejected from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the winter games and the 2022 football world cup in Qatar.

Regardless of the ban, Russia will be able to participate in the Euro 2020 which will be hosted in St Petersburg. Because of the fact that European football’s governing body Uefa is not a major event organisation with regards to rulings on anti-doping breaches.

The World Anti-doping Agency has set a great example for the athletes that nobody is above the game. If an athlete is found guilty in the doping, they will be punished and not allowed to represent their nation at the global events. Young athletes who are indulged in doping have to take a life lesson and start focusing more on hard work rather than shortcuts.

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