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Why has Russia been banned from 2021 Tokyo Olympics?

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335 Russian athletes are competing alongside athletes from all across the world at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that are currently in progress (these Olympics were postpone last year owing to heavy COVID-19 wave). The Russians, unlike their rivals, are not permitted to use their country’s name, flag, or anthem, and must compete under the initials ROC, which stands for Russian Olympic Committee. All of their medals are recorded next to the name ROC, with a different flag than Russia’s official, in the 2020 medals tally. This is due to Russia’s exclusion from the Tokyo Olympics, despite the fact that it has a long history of being a great sporting nation.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned Russia from competing in international tournaments for four years in December 2019, including the Tokyo Olympics and the FIFA World Cup in 2022. After additional findings concerning a doping scheme that Russia had been accused of, the suspension was implemented. Whistleblowers and inspectors have accused Russia of conducting a sophisticated doping programme that has led international federations to bar its athletes from participation in major competitions for years.
WADA removed sanctions in September 2018 following repeated investigations on the condition that Russia pass over athlete data from its Moscow laboratory to doping regulators, which would aid in the identification of hundreds of athletes who may have cheated across various sports. After Russia was accused of tampering with the database, the WADA panel recommended a four-year ban.
Yulia Stepanova, an 800m runner, and her husband Vitaly, a former employee of the Russia Anti-Doping Agency, RUSADA, appeared in a German documentary in 2014, exposing one of the most “advanced doping programmes” in sports history. Another whistleblower, Grigory Rodchenkov, a former head of RUSADA, told The New York Times two years later that Russia had run a well-planned, state-sponsored doping system. Rodchenkov’s assertions were far more incriminating.
During the 2014 Winter Olympics, he said that personnel of the country’s anti-doping and intelligence agencies replaced the athlete’s urine samples through a secret hole in the wall of the agency’s laboratory. The lab was guarded by a member of Russia’s national security services, according to investigations. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and other global federations, initiated investigations as a result.
The accreditation of Russia’s anti-doping lab was suspended in 2015 almost immediately after the charges were made public.
The IOC has removed 111 athletes from Russia’s 389-member contingent for the Rio Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, following preliminary investigations. This includes the entire track and field squad. In the end, 168 athletes were allowed to compete due to a special dispensation from the international federation. However, the Russian Olympic Committee was not permitted to attend the tournament, and the country’s flag was not displayed at any of the venues. Athletes from Russia were also obliged to wear neutral uniforms with the words “Olympic Athletes From Russia” emblazoned on them.
The Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) lowered the four-year ban to two years in 2020, but it also mandated that no official Russian team be allowed to compete in tournaments hosted by a Wanda signatory until the suspension term expires on December 16, 2022. This means that official Russian teams will be unable to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, as well as the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Even if Russia qualifies for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, it will have to compete under a neutral name.
During the suspension time, Russia is also prohibited from hosting any world sporting event whose regulatory body is registered with WADA. After the suspension period expires, Russia will be rehabilitated if it respects and adheres to all issued sanctions, plays all fines and contributions, and begins adhering to WADA standards.
Only those players who have been able to prove that they were not involved in the doping scandal are eligible for the ROC. According to the International Olympic Committee, all public displays of the organization’s participant name shall utilise the acronym ROC, not the full term “Russian Olympic Committee”.