Russia cannot compete at 2022 World Cup under own flag: WADA

LAUSANNE (Reuters) – The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Monday that the Russian national soccer team could not take part in the 2022 World Cup under the Russian flag due to doping sanctions that bar the country from major sporting events for four years.

“If they qualify, a team representing Russia cannot participate, but if there is a mechanism put in place, then they can apply to participate on a neutral basis, not as representatives of Russia,” Jonathan Taylor, chair of WADA’s compliance review committee, told a news conference.

Taylor was speaking after WADA earlier on Monday banned Russia from the world’s top sporting events for four years, a period that includes the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, for tampering with doping-related laboratory data.

A spokesperson for FIFA, global soccer’s governing body, told Reuters it had asked WADA and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) to clarify its decision in regards to Russian national soccer teams.

Reporting by Brian Homewood; Writing by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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