Hosts of the last World Cup Russia will not be part of the next World cup in Qatar even if they would have loved to do so.
This followed a ruling by Court of Arbitration for sports on Thursday confirming that Russia will miss the World Cup as well as the now re-scheduled Olympics in Japan.
Original four year ban of Russia from international sports competition was reduced by to two years but the country unfortunately will still miss the next two Olympics and World Cup.
The decision was announced Thursday morning by the Swiss-based court.
A panel of three arbitrators held a four-day hearing last month to consider the Russian Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s ban, which was handed down last December.
The court ruling means that Russia won’t formally have any presence — no name, no flag, no anthem — at the Tokyo Olympics next summer or the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. It also will be barred from most major international competition through 2022, including Fifa’s World Cup, the Youth Olympic Games, Paralympics, world championships and other major sporting events subject to World Anti-Doping Code.
“This Panel has imposed consequences to reflect the nature and seriousness of the noncompliance and to ensure that the integrity of sport against the scourge of doping is maintained,” the arbitrators wrote in their decision. “The consequences which the Panel has decided to impose are not as extensive as those sought by WADA. This should not, however, be read as any validation of the conduct of RUSADA or the Russian authorities.”
Thursday’s decision marks the latest and possibly one of the final twists in the years-long doping saga. Russia has spent most of the year fighting the WADA punishment, appealing it to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has final say on the matter.
Recall that Russia hosted the last World cup won by France in 2018. The hosts opened their campaign with a 5-0 defeat of Saudi Arabia, made it to the quarterfinal before bowing out following a 4-3 defeat on penalty by eventual runners up Croatia.