The Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Thursday that Russia cannot use its national anthem, flag, or even its name, at the next two Olympics, or at any world championships for the next two years. The sport court's punishment has to do with cheating, and specifically, doping.
The Lausanne-based court halved the four-year ban proposed last year by the World Anti-Doping Agency in a landmark case that accused Russia of state-ordered tampering of a testing laboratory database in Moscow. The ruling also blocked Russia from bidding to host major sporting events for two years.
Russian athletes and teams will still be allowed to compete at next year's Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, as well as world championships including the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, if they are not implicated in doping or covering up positive tests.
One win for Russia is the proposed team name at major events. The name "Russia" can be retained on uniforms if the words "Neutral Athlete" or equivalents like "Neutral Team" have equal prominence, the court said.
The burden of proof was also shifted away from Russian athletes and more toward WADA when it comes to their doping history being vetted for selection to the Olympics or other sporting events. Russian athletes and teams can also retain the national flag colors of red, white and blue in their uniforms at major events. That was not possible for Russians at the past two track world championships.
Read more at AP: Russia can't use its name and flag at the next 2 Olympics [Reporting: GRAHAM DUNBAR]