Former World Cup host Russia will not be participating in Qatar’s 2022 world tournament.
Russia’s national team will no longer take part in Qatar’s 2022 World Cup after a decision from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
The Court of Arbitration [CAS] for Sport also ruled that Russia will not be allowed to bid to host major sporting events for two years.
This comes after the country was accused of running one of the most sophisticated drug schemes in sporting history. The case also focused on an accusation that the Russian authorities meddled with a database from the Moscow testing laboratory before handing it over to WADA investigators last year.
Russia was initially put under a four-year ban from all major sporting events. However, following an appeal, the ban was cut to two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
WADA’s latest ruling comes after a long-running saga traced back to 2016.
“The panel has imposed consequences to reflect the nature and seriousness of the non-compliance and to ensure that the integrity of sport against the scourge of doping is maintained,” said CAS, which announced the ruling on Thursday.
Though the ban was cut in half, it still meant that the country would miss the re-arranged Tokyo Olympics next year as well as football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the 2022 Winter Olympics in China and the 2024 Paris Games.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the ban is a “politically motivated” ruling that “contradicted” the Olympic Charter.
Although the team cannot qualify for the 2022 World Cup nor other international tournaments, some Russian athletes can still compete at the event as neutrals, meaning the Russian flag and the country’s national anthem will not be permitted until the ban has been served.
That means they can compete as individual athletes, but not under the country’s name. As for the flag, athletes can only use a white flag.
Qatar is now counting down the days to host the long-anticipated World Cup with less than two years remaining on the clock.
Al-Khater said that the country is planning the “complete normal” games, in comments made amid reports of rapid progress in producing vaccines for the novel coronavirus.
“The introduction of the vaccine and the rollout of the vaccine, it’s definitely good news for everybody,” Al-Khater told the AP.
Doha anticipates some 1.5 million football fans to visit Qatar for the 2022 World Cup.