The Olympic flag and the Russian flag are raised while the Russian national anthem is sung during the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 closing ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Paul Gilham | Getty Images
Russia was banned from the Olympics and World Cup in a number of sports for four years on Monday after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) decided to punish it for manipulating laboratory data, a spokesman for WADA said. [1
The WADA committee's decision to punish Russia with a ban was unanimous, the spokesman said.
Russia, which has sought to emerge as a global sporting power, has been embraced in doping scandals since a 2015 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.
The misery of doping has grown since, with many of its athletes sidelined from the last two Olympics, and the country stripped its flag completely at last year's Pyeongchang winter game as a punishment for state-sponsored doping coverage at the Sochi Games 2014.
Monday's sanctions had been recommended by WADA's committee review committee in response to the doctored laboratory data provided by Moscow earlier this year.
One of the conditions for the reinstatement of the Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, which was suspended in 2015 in the wake of the doping scandal for athletics, but which was reintroduced last year, was that Moscow provided an authentic copy of the laboratory data.
The sanctions effectively strip the agency of its accreditation. Last month, Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov attributed the discrepancies in the laboratory data to technical problems.
However, the penalty leaves the door open for pure Russian athletes to compete at major international sporting events without a flag or anthem for four years, as was the case during the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.
Some Russian officials, meanwhile, have felt the call for sanctions unfair and resembled it with wider Western attempts to hold back the land.
If RUSADA appeals the sanctions approved by the WADA Executive Committee, the case will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), WADA has said.