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World Anti-Doping Agency recommends Olympic ban for Russia

Athletes from Russia during the Opening Ceremony
Russian athletes wear neutral uniforms at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Photo: Nils Petter Nilsson/Getty Images

A World Anti-Doping Agency committee recommended a sweeping four-year international sports ban for Russia, which would impact its participation in next year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: The ban stems from the discovery that multiple positive drug tests were deleted by Russian officials from a database during the agency's investigation into the massive doping scandal that broke in 2016.

What's next: A final ruling on the recommendations — which are expected to pass — is anticipated on Dec. 9. Any decision would be subject to appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

  • Russian athletes in Tokyo would be forced to wear neutral uniforms and attend medal ceremonies without Russia's flag or national anthem — similar to what took place during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
  • The ban would extend beyond the Olympics to all sporting bodies that abide by WADA rules, including FIFA — which is holding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
  • It would also mean that Russia would be barred from hosting or bidding for international sporting events for the duration of the ban.

The other side: The Times reports that some national doping agencies are expected to criticize the ban, arguing that it doesn't go far enough and still allows Russian athletes to take part in international competition.

Go deeper: Russian hacking group Fancy Bear strikes sports and anti-doping organizations