Russia banned from Olympics for four years over doping scandal

Russia has been banned from competing in a host of major sporting events for the next four years, including the Summer and Winter Olympics as well as the 2022 Soccer World Cup.

The decision was taken on Monday (December 9) by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which took action to punish Russia for manipulating laboratory data, a WADA spokesman said.

WADA's executive committee met in Lausanne, Switzerland after it concluded that Moscow had planted fake evidence and deleted files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped identify drug cheats.

The committee's decision to punish Russia with a ban was unanimous, a spokesman said.

The punishment does leaves the door open for clean Russian athletes to compete at major international sporting events without their flag or anthem for four years.

WADA says Russia's own Anti-Doping Agency has 21 days to appeal against the decision.

If it does so, the appeal will then be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.