The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) proclaimed a "landmark" victory after a ruling that left Russia banned from the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

While the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) halved WADA's four-year ban, it still sees Russia excluded from international competitions for two years for violating anti-doping rules.

"WADA is pleased to have won this landmark case," said WADA President Witold Banka.

The verdict "clearly upheld our findings that the Russian authorities brazenly and illegally manipulated the Moscow Laboratory data in an effort to cover up an institutionalised doping scheme."

The Australian Olympic Committee welcomed the original decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency to ban Russia from major sporting events, including next year's Tokyo Games as the sports world began to digest the suspension.


The ruling is the latest stage in a long-running battle between WADA and Russia. In November 2015, WADA called for Russia to be banned from international competition, including from the 2016 Rio Olympics, until "state-sponsored" doping is eradicated.

In January 2019 Russia finally granted WADA access to data in the Moscow testing labs.

The following December, WADA banned Russia for four years after finding some of that data had been manipulated.

Russia appealed and CAS halved the ban.

"We are, however, disappointed that the CAS Panel did not endorse each and every one of our recommended consequences for the four-year period we requested.


President of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov. Picture: Pavel Golovkin
President of the Russian Olympic Committee Stanislav Pozdnyakov. Picture: Pavel Golovkin

"We believe they were proportionate and reasonable," said the WADA chief. But he added that WADA was satisfied that "Russia will not be permitted to participate in, bid for or host any covered event, including two editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and many other major events, for the next two years." "The Russian flag will not fly nor its anthem played. This sends a clear message that institutionalised cheating and concerted efforts to subvert the global anti-doping system will not be tolerated


Originally published as Russia booted out of next two Games