The World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) executive committee has sent a "robust" rebuke of Russia's sports authorities, banning the country's athletes and officials from the Olympics and world championships in a range of sports for four years.
The committee made the move "unanimously" on Monday after WADA concluded that Moscow had tampered with laboratory data by planting fake evidence and deleting files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped identify drug cheats.
"For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport. The blatant breach by the Russian authorities of RUSADA's reinstatement conditions ... demanded a robust response. That is exactly what has been delivered today," WADA President Sir Craig Reedie said in a statement.
"Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial," he added.
"As a result, the WADA [executive committee] has responded in the strongest possible terms, while protecting the rights of Russian athletes that can prove that they were not involved and did not benefit from these fraudulent acts."
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has 21 days to officially appeal the ruling with the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Several Russian lawmakers immediately decried the move and said it should be appealed.
Source : VOA