Court: Russian Name, Flag Banned From Next 2 Olympics

Punishment for a 2014 Olympics doping scheme
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 17, 2020 9:55 AM CST
Russia Hears Punishment for 2014 Olympics Doping Scheme
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks via video call during a news conference in Moscow on Thursday.   (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russia was banned Thursday from using its name, flag, and anthem at the next two Olympics or at any world championships for the next two years. The Court of Arbitration for Sport's ruling also blocked Russia from bidding to host major sporting events for two years, per the AP. The case centered on a 2014 Olympics doping scheme, with accusations that Russian state authorities tampered with a database from the Moscow testing laboratory before handing it over to WADA investigators last year, the New York Times reports.

Russian athletes and teams will still be allowed to compete at next year's Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, as well as world championships—including the 2022 World Cup in Qatar—if they're not implicated in doping or covering up positive tests. One small win for Russia is the proposed team name at major events. The name “Russia” can be retained on uniforms if the words “Neutral Athlete” or “Neutral Team” have equal prominence, the court said. Still, the court's three judges imposed the most severe penalties on Russia since allegations of state-backed doping and cover-ups emerged after the 2014 Sochi Olympics. (More Russia stories.)

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