The Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics is now less than a year away. Tensions have been high with nervousness and strain from country to country. In December of 2017, the International Olympic Committee had suspended Russia from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games for a doping controversy and they might have to be suspended again for the 2020 summer Olympic Winter Games.
Russia’s tensions are high once again due to inconsistencies in the teams’ doping data. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) revealed on Sept. 23 that there may be doping going on with the Russian athletes and they may face another chance of being banned from the 2020 Winter Olympics.
Russia has been given until Oct. 7, 2019 from WADA to explain the inconsistencies of the doping data from a Moscow laboratory. Russia is also asked to explain how a number of positive drug tests had been deleted from a database from the lab in January. It is believed that the laboratory deleted and skewed data before sending it on.
Russia was required to share data from its Moscow laboratory to show that they have complied with global anti-doping rules. They needed to do this in order to overcome their suspension from the previous Summer Olympics in 2018.
The World Anti-Doping Agency believes that it should not affect other cases already being investigated but if Russia is found to have meddled with doping data, it puts the other investigations at risk.
If found guilty, this can impact all events that WADA is involved in, for example, the football World Cup.
Stanislav Pozdnyakov, the president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, believes that this is a very serious offense. He added that if Russia is unable to either refute the claim or identify potential suspects, “then the Russian Olympic team’s prospects of taking part in the Games in Tokyo next year could be under threat.”
Russia is once again at risk of their athletes not performing and representing their nation on the global Olympic stage.