(MOSCOW) — The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has once again banned Russia from participating in the Olympics, as well as all major international sporting events, over its failure to end the cover-up of doping by its athletes.WADA’s executive committee voted unanimously on Monday to accept a recommendation to ban Russia from fielding athletes under its flag and team names at any major international competitions for the next 4 years, including the Olympics and Paralympics.Earlier this month, WADA’s compliance board made that recommendation after finding that Russia was still not cooperating with anti-doping authorities and had continued to try to conceal possible doping violations.It means that Russia will officially be absent from the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and from the 2022 Winter Olympics, as well as world championships.WADA has said that Russian athletes able to prove they are clean and unconnected to the doping cover up will still be allowed to compete as “neutrals”.That is the same decision as during the most recent Winter Olympics in South Korea last year, where Russian teams took part wearing a special “neutral” uniform and the flag and anthem were banned from medal ceremonies. Russia’s official medal score at that Olympics was also zero.It is a huge blow to Russian sport as the doping scandal that began in 2015 continues to wreak havoc on the country’s international sporting prestige. Virtually Russia’s entire track and field team also missed the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.
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