(NBC) – A Swiss court banned Russia from using its name, flag and anthem at the next two Olympics or at any world championships for the next two years.
The ruling from the Court of Arbitration for Sport also blocked Russia from bidding to host major sporting events for two years, the most severe penalties on Russia since allegations of state-backed doping and cover-ups emerged after the Sochi Winter Olympics six years ago.
Russian athletes will still be allowed to compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, as well as world championships, unless they are implicated in doping or covering up positive tests.
The punishments handed out by the court are less than the four-year ban the world anti-doping agency proposed.
The court said the name “Russia” can be retained on uniforms if the words “neutral athlete” or “neutral team” have equal prominence.
The case revolved around accusations that Russian state authorities tampered with a database from the Moscow testing laboratory before handing it over to WADA investigators last year.
Many Russian athletes have already been sidelined from the past two Olympics.
Russia was already deprived of its flag at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping in Sochi.
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