Yuliya Rusanova, Istanbul 2012, exposed widespread doping fraud in Russian sports. Credit Erik van Leeuwen
Huge drama in global sports: After a lengthy investigation, The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) have decided to suspend Russia from any sports activity for four years.
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This means that the Russians will not be able to attend the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Qatar World Cup in 2022. The Russians were given 21 days to appeal the decision and it is still early to know what the chances of the appeal will be and whether the severity of the sentence may vary.
The implications of the decision are far-reaching because it is one of the world’s largest sports powers. If the decision goes ahead, even Israel will feel it. One example is that in the absence of the sisters Avrina, the two best artistic gymnasts in the world, Lino Ashram
Become a leading gold medal candidate in Tokyo. At the same time, it is too early to predict the expected developments, and athletes who are not directly linked to drug use will likely be able to participate in the Olympic Games under an international flag.
‘We maintain that the fraud, manipulation and deception revealed to date will only be encouraged and perpetuated with a lesser response,’ the statement read.
‘Until these critical abuses of integrity in sport are confronted with courage and a resolute commitment to protect athletes and clean sport, they will continue, and the sports we love remain tarnished.’