Russia has been banned from competing in international sports for four years after an investigation from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) was concluded.

Russia was found guilty of manipulating laboratory data to mask banned substances in its athletes during a probe in January.

The ban means the country will be unable to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

Wada’s compliance review committee has also recommended stripping Russia of sports events already awarded to the country “unless it is legally or practically impossible to do so” and for Russian government officials to be barred from attending sporting events for the next four years. A ban for the same period on flying the Russian flag at major competitions would also apply.

Handing over a clean database to WADA was a key requirement for Russia to help bring closure to a scandal that has tainted the Olympics over the last decade.

Although the IOC has called for the strongest possible sanctions, it wants those sanctions directed at Russian state authorities rather than athletes or Olympic officials. Russia has 21 days to appeal the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

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