The Chronicle

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s unanimous decision, if upheld, would exclude Russia from the 2020 Olympics, and the Winter Games and World Cup in 2022.

Global antidoping leaders agreed unanimously on Monday to banish Russia from international sports — including next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo — for four years, the latest and severest punishment yet connected to a yearslong cheating scheme that has devastated global sport.

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s board convened on Monday for a special meeting close to the International Olympic Committee’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. The decision is unlikely to surprise many given the scale of Russia’s attempt to conceal, obfuscate and frustrate attempts to unmask the beneficiaries of a state-powered doping program, remarkable for its sophistication and scope.

Confirmation of the penalties, which includes specific bans on Russian sports and government officials and prohibits the country from hosting international events, comes four years after the first details of the scheme that peaked at the 2014 Sochi Olympics were made public.

Monday’s decision is almost certain to be contested by Russia, which, even after several independent investigations that have revealed a welter of evidence against it, continues to steadfastly deny many of the allegations. Russian officials have 21 days to lodge an appeal with the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport. If unsuccessful, its ouster will stretch to events well beyond the Olympics, including soccer’s World Cup.- The New York Times