In one of the biggest sports-related decisions of recent times, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has placed Russian Federation under a four year ban from all major sporting events such as Olympics and World Championships. This means that one of the most successful nations in the history of Olympics will not be featuring in the Tokyo Games.

This doesn't mean that all Russian athletes would have no opportunity of competing at these events. They can only do so under the flag of International Olympic Committee (IOC) and after proving that they have a clean slate and haven't been affected by the institutionalized doping of the Russian system.

There is one respite though for the Russian sports fans. Their football team would be eligible to play in the Euro 2020, which will be held at St Petersburg as the organizers of this event, UEFA, doesn't get categorised as a 'major event organisation' by IOC. Unfortunately, the 2022 Football World Cup is also off limits for the Russians.

Russia doping
Russian flag won't be seen at Tokyo Olympics

The decision was made by the executive committee of WADA after a high-level meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was unanimous. WADA had demanded the handover of Russian anti-doping agency's (Rusada) data. However, Rusada failed to comply with the demand, hence prompting WADA to act in this manner.

This is not the first time Russia will suffer the humiliation of not being part of a major event due to this reason. They were also barred from participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics. This ban brings the curtains down on a long and disgraceful episode in the history of Russian sports. The only remaining hope for the country is to appeal against this decision and get it overturned. For that, they will have to seek a review inside 21 days.

However, the strong evidence and the suspicious behaviour of Rusada suggests that all hope is lost for the major sporting nation.