Nov 25, 2019

World Anti-Doping Agency recommends Olympic ban for Russia

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

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Cerebus sells control of Steward Health Care back to company

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Cerberus Capital Management has agreed to sell control of community hospital group Steward Health Care back to the company, as first reported by the New York Times and confirmed by Axios.

Why it matters: This would make Steward one of the country's largest physician-owned and operated companies. It also marks the end of a 10-year ownership period for Cerberus, which was most recently marked by threats to shutter a Pennsylvania hospital in March, despite the pandemic, if the facility didn't receive state bailout funds.

Exclusive: Washington Post makes major move into local news

People entering the Washington Post building in D.C. in 2019. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The Washington Post has signed all 30 of McClatchy's local news outlets to its Zeus Performance product, a software that gives sites better speed, ad view-ability and performance, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: By adding more local news outlets, The Post can start to build a local news ecosystem within its tech stack.

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden will call George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticize President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address will seek to draw a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.