Russia Gets Its Doping Ban Reduced But Will Miss Next 2 Olympics

The Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision means Russia will not compete under its name and flag in the Tokyo Summer Games, scheduled for 2021, and the Beijing Winter Games in 2022.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision means Russia will not compete under its name and flag in the Tokyo Summer Games, scheduled for 2021, and the Beijing Winter Games in 2022.
Ahmet Furkan Mercan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Russia has been banned from using its flag, name and anthem in the next two Olympics and any world championship sporting event for the next two years, in a decision that effectively reduces the length of the country's suspension.

In a decision announced Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport unanimously found that Russia was not in compliance with international anti-doping rules.

The World Anti-Doping Agency had sought a stiffer four-year ban for Russia, though the Switzerland-based court stressed that the lighter penalty should not be read as validation for Russia's actions.

"It has considered matters of proportionality and, in particular, the need to effect cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport," the panel stated.

Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete in international competition, the panel said, as long as they are not otherwise suspended, "that the uniform worn does not contain the flag of the Russian Federation and contains the words 'neutral athlete', and that the Russian national anthem is not played or sung at any official event venue."

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