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Volume 26 No. 207
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WADA Committee Calls For Russia Ban After Doping Violations

A WADA committee recommendation letter says that Russia’s "flouting of antidoping rules is so severe" that the country "should be barred from global sporting events, including the Olympics, for four years," according to Tariq Panja of the N.Y. TIMES. If the recommendation is approved by the organization’s BOD next month, Russian athletes and teams "would be barred" from the Tokyo Games and from "major events" like the '22 FIFA World Cup and the world championships for archery, wrestling and other sports that operate under WADA's World Anti-Doping Code. Next month’s BOD vote also will "serve as a crucial test" of WADA's "ability to enforce its rules." A final ruling is "expected on Dec. 9," when the WADA BOD meets in Paris. While the agency is "expected to support the recommendation, any decision would be subject to appeal" at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Among the proposed penalties: "Forcing Russian athletes to compete at a second straight Olympic Games in neutral uniforms and collect any medals they win without the raising of the nation’s flag or the playing of its anthem" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/26). In DC, Rick Maese notes this potential punishment "would be the most severe in the wake of revelations of a years-long state-sponsored doping scheme that rocked the international sports world and kept Russia from official participation" at the '18 Pyeongchang Games (WASHINGTON POST, 11/26).