British Olympic Association joins calls to ban all Russians from world stage

Russian skating fan holds the country's national flag over the Olympic rings before the start of the men's 10,000-meter speedskating race at Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia

WADA's former director general David Howman, well known for his straight-talking, agreed.

"I've been doing that for all of the last few years".

The British Olympic Association on Wednesday joined the fight for Russian Federation to be exiled completely from world sport as the World Anti-Doping Agency braced itself for a legal challenge to its ban on the country.

The WADA sanction stems from a long-running scandal in which Russian athletes, coaches and officials have been caught in an orchestrated doping scheme. Over 1000 Russian athletes were eventually found to have taken part in coordinated doping, led by Rodchenkov's lab. The 2018 Football World Cup was generally considered a success - with less controversy than had been expected - and RUSADA has been allowed to re-open.

WADA used the copy of the laboratory information management system (LIMS) data provided by Rodchenkov in 2017 to compare against the one provided earlier this year under the terms of RUSADA's reinstatement and found numerous inconsistencies and evidence of manipulation of the data. It was the final straw.

She welcomed the decision to ban Russia for four years but remains sceptical about the decision to let Russian athletes who can prove they were not involved in state sponsored doping to compete as individuals.

The Australian Government, as Oceania's representative on WADA's executive committee voted to support the sanctions.

Yury Ganus, the head of RUSADA, said his country had "no chance" of winning an appeal.

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Russian Olympic Committee President Stanislav Pozdnyakov has already promised the organisation would do everything in its power to ensure the Russian team competes under its own flag and have the national anthem played if athletes from the country win medals at Tokyo 2020. WADA doesn't take care of the world sport and Olympic movement.

Travis Tygart, CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency, believes the new ruling isn't tough enough.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) stopped short of such a punishment on Monday (December 9), when they endorsed the recommendations of the Agency's Compliance Review Committee. It's hard to imagine Tygart pushing for the same measures if it was a first-time infringement by another, smaller nation. "We need to take the strongest action to bring justice back to sport", he said.

"If other sports are guilty and people have breached the WADA code, why are we punished?" he said.

Russia's reaction this week has been predictable. "How can you mock athletes who have been preparing all their lives for this?" said Aslanbek Khushtov, who won wrestling gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Although that seems unlikely, the link between Russia's doping and its foreign policy is not so far fetched.

The British Olympic Association have called for the strongest possible action against Russian Federation as they do not want a repeat of the 2018 Winter Olympics when they were Russian Federation in all but name.

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