While most countries will be competing in the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year, one country will, sadly, be watching at home.
The country is none other than Russia.
Manipulated lab data
News agency Reuters
reported that Russia has been banned from the world's top sporting events for four years after they were found guilty by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for manipulating laboratory data.
The report stated that WADA’s executive committee made the unanimous decision after finding that the country had planted fake evidence and deleting files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped identify drug cheats.
This means that Russia has been prohibited from participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Reportedly, Russia had been embroiled in doping scandals since a 2015 report commissioned by WADA found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.
Many of Russia’s athletes had been sidelined from the past two Olympics and the country stripped of its flag altogether at last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping cover-ups at the 2014 Sochi Games.
One of the conditions for the reinstatement of the Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, which was suspended in 2015 in the wake of the athletics doping scandal but reinstated last year, had been that Moscow provide an authentic copy of the laboratory data.
In the country’s defence, Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said the discrepancies in the laboratory data was due to technical issues.
Hey, like they say, you commit the crime, you do the time.