Russian sport begins the ordeal of two years of sanction for doping in the Handball World Cup that will be played starting tomorrow in Egypt, where it will compete without a shield, flag and anthem. As soon as they step onto the pitch against Belarus on Thursday, the Russians will not hear their country’s anthem, as is customary in international tournaments.
Instead of the Russian anthem, a melody agreed between the International Olympic Committee and the Russian Olympic Committee will be played, while the shirts of the Russian team will not include the national crest with the double-headed eagle or a badge with the tricolor of the Russian Federation.
During the next two years, Russian athletes will have to compete as neutral athletes in the Games (Tokyo and Beijing) and World Cups, but not in the qualifying events or in the Europeans, where they will be able to carry their flag and listen to their anthem.
At the end of December, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) reduced the suspension imposed on Russia at the end of 2019 by the World Anti-Doping Agency for collusion with doping to two years.
After the Handball World Cup, where Russia will compete upon receiving an invitation, it will be the turn of winter sports teams such as luge, bobsleigh and skeleton. In addition, the sanction includes a ban on Russian officials from attending World Cups and Olympics.
The ban, which is final and can no longer be appealed, affects the president, prime minister, ministers, members of both houses of Parliament and other senior officials of the Russian State. The exception would be when a Russian official is personally invited by the leaders of the host country of the tournament in question.
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