Russia banned for four years, including 2020 Olympics

Updated: December 9, 2019

The World Anti-Doping Agency announced today that Russia has been banned from international competition for four years after WADA investigators found that the country tampered with drug-testing data earlier this year.

“For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport,” WADA president Craig Reedie said in a statement. “The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA’s reinstatement conditions, approved by the (executive committee) in September 2018, demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today.”

That means that Russia will not compete in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.Russia has 21 days to appeal the ruling, which also could allow athletes to compete under a neutral flag as it did in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Russia has excelled in international wrestling. In the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Russians captured three medals (two gold and one bronze) in men’s freestyle, three (two gold and one bronze) in Greco-Roman and three (two silver and one bronze) in women’s freestyle. In the 2019 World Championships, Russia claimed nine medals (five gold) in ten weights in men’s freestyle, five total medals (two gold) in Greco-Roman, and three in women’s freestyle).

Among the more notable Russians, who are in jeopardy of not being able to compete are Zaubek Sidakov and Abdulrashid Sadulaev at 74 and 97 kilograms, respectively. Sidakov rallied to edge USA’s World/Olympic champ Jordan Burroughs in the semifinals of the past two Worlds and went on to win World championships each year.

Sadulaev, a 2016 Olympic champ at 86 kilograms, moved up to 97 kilos the past three Worlds. Kyle Snyder, the 2016 Olympic champ at 97 kilos, defeated the Russian in the 2017 Worlds gold-medal bout, but lost to Sadulaev in the 2018 Worlds final. The two rivals did not meet in the 2019 Worlds, where Sadulaev eventually won a fourth World championship, while Snyder settled for bronze.