From Inside the Games

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Compliance Review Committee (CRC) has recommended a four-year sanction against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, which could force athletes to compete neutrally with the country’s flag set to be banned from international events.

The recommendation follows “an extremely serious case of non-compliance with the requirement to provide an authentic copy of the Moscow data, with several aggravating features”, according to the WADA CRC.

The sanctions would cover both the 2020 and 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo and Beijing, should they come into force.

“Russian athletes and their support personnel may only participate in major events staged in the four-year period where they are able to demonstrate that they are not implicated in any way by the non-compliance,” the WADA CRC recommendation states.

This would include the athletes not being mentioned in “incriminating circumstances in the McLaren reports, there are no positive findings reported for them in the database, and no data relating to their samples has been manipulated”.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach suggested in an interview last week they would be against a blanket suspension on Russian athletes from Tokyo 2020.

The IOC delegated responsibility to International Federations to determine which athletes could compete at Rio 2016, although the International Paralympic Committee barred Russia from the Paralympic Games.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) were suspended from Pyeongchang 2018, with approved athletes competing as part of the Olympic Athletes from Russia delegation.

Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag at the Paralympic Games.

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