Russian flag, national anthem banned from Olympics for 4 years

FILE – In this Feb. 23, 2014 file photo, the Russian national flag, right, flies after next to the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:42 AM PT — Monday, December 9, 2019

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), a foundation initiated by the International Olympic Committee, is banning Russia’s flag and national anthem from the Olympics as well as other sporting events over a major doping scandal.

In a unanimous decision Monday, the executive committee said they wished to protect the rights of athletes who were not involved in the scandal, but had to hold the country responsible.

Initial allegations of doping came four years ago, and WADA investigators discovered that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency tampered with drug testing data earlier this year.

FILE – In this Nov. 18, 2015 file photo a man walking past the Russian Olympic Committee building, casts a shadow on a window in Moscow, Russia. The World Anti-Doping Agency banned Russia on Monday Dec. 9, 2019 from the Olympics and other major sporting events for four years, though many athletes will likely be allowed to compete as neutral athletes. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, file)

Russian athletes may still be able to compete if they can prove they are drug free.

“Well, it means that Russian athletes, if they want to compete in the Olympics or in the Paralympics or the various major events that are listed within this reclamation, they’re going to have to prove that they had nothing to do with non compliance,” explained James Fitzgerald, a spokesman for the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency has not yet confirmed whether they will appeal the decision.

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