İrem UZUN -TDO- The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday handed a four-year ban to Russia for major sporting events including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 World Cup in Qatar. "WADA Executive Committee unanimously endorses four-year period of non-compliance for the Russian Anti-Doping Agency," the agency said in a statement following a meeting of its executive committee in Lausanne.

The decision comes after Russia was alleged to have manipulated data provided to WADA from a Moscow anti-doping laboratory in January, which Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) chief Yuri Ganus later agreed to be true. The data was handed over as part of the reinstatement terms for RUSADA after a three-year exile over claims of state-sponsored doping, which Russia has consistently denied. The ban means the Russian flag will not fly at the next Olympic Game and the next football World Cup. However, athletes who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete at events as neutrals.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the ban was part of "chronic anti-Russian hysteria". "It is obvious that significant doping problems still exist in Russia, I mean our sporting community," he said. "This is impossible to deny, but on the other hand the fact that all these decisions are repeated, often affecting athletes who have already been punished in one way or another, not to mention some other points - of course this makes one think that this is part of anti-Russian hysteria which has become chronic."

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