The banned Russia can play as a “neutral” team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar … but they are still allowed to wear a red jersey with the country’s name on the jersey even though the CAS ban has been respected
- Russia was banned from participating in major sporting events last December
- The four-year sanctions also prohibited them from hosting international events
- RUSADA appealed the decision and the case was referred to CAS in November
- The court of arbitration for sport has now confirmed the ban in a landmark ruling
Russia will be allowed to play as a “neutral” team with a red jersey and the name of the country on the jerseys at the next World Cup – although it is forbidden.
On Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) cut Russia’s ban on all major sporting events for doping offenses from four to two years. Anti-doping critics described this verdict as “nonsensical” and “devastating”.
The ban continues to prevent the country from participating in the newly arranged Tokyo Summer Olympics, the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar under its own name, flag and anthem.
The Russian soccer team will be allowed to play as a “neutral” team at the 2022 World Cup
The Sports Arbitration Tribunal has upheld Russia’s ban on all international sport
The Russians were banned from competing under their flag at the Olympic Games and other major events last December
Russian athletes who are not involved in the doping scandal can compete as “neutrals”.
This includes the country’s soccer team, which in the unlikely event that it reaches the World Cup final in Qatar two years later today could even play under its own name, as the ban on December 16, two days before the final, ends.
In a further dilution of the first sanctions imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) last year, Russians who compete as neutrals are now allowed to wear the colors of their flags (red, white and blue) on kits.
They can also wear “Russia” on their clothing as long as the words “neutral athlete” or “neutral team” are equally highlighted.
The Russian soccer team will be allowed to compete as themselves in the delayed Euro 2020 next summer and in the World Cup qualifiers, as these are not defined as “major events”.
FIFA has not yet commented on yesterday’s CAS ruling, but last year WADA confirmed: “If a mechanism is in place, Russia can request neutral participation.”
Global Athlete campaign group said, “This is yet another farce that mocks the system. Russia was not banned, it was simply renamed. “
CAS PANEL END STATEMENT
‘This panel has imposed consequences to reflect the nature and severity of the non-compliance [to the WADC] and to ensure that the integrity of sport against the scourge of doping is preserved.
“The consequences decided by the committee are not as far-reaching as those aimed at by WADA. However, this should not be taken as confirmation of the behavior of RUSADA or the Russian authorities.
‘When issuing its assignments, the committee is restricted by the powers granted under applicable law, in particular the WADC and the ISCCS.
“It took into account issues of proportionality, and in particular the need to bring about cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport.”
This means that athletes like Ilia Burkiv have to compete under a neutral flag for two years
The verdict announced yesterday follows an appeal last month by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), which was found non-compliant by WADA last year for tampering with laboratory data passed to investigators.
The British Olympic Association yesterday evening expressed “disappointment” that WADA’s recommendations were “not fully endorsed”.
British Anti-Doping Director Nicole Sapstead added: “It is hard to imagine that the rules in sport could be violated more seriously, so I don’t understand the justification for this reduction.”
CAS said its decision “should not be taken as confirmation of the conduct of RUSADA or the Russian authorities”. However, they added, “Proportionality issues were considered, and in particular the need to bring about cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport.”
Sebastian Coe said he would be “happy” if Russian athletes compete in Tokyo