The Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS) has reduced its sanction on the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) from 4 to 2 years, but maintains a ban on Russia competing with its own flag at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.Initially, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had imposed a 4-year sanction on Russia , which appealed to the highest instance of sports justice. Following a process involving 50 parties, including the International Olympic Committee (IIC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the TAS unanimously ruled that RUSADA did not comply with the World Anti-Doping Code». As a result, a number of measures were determined to be in force from this same Thursday until 16 December 2022. The most important of these is that Russia will not be able to compete as a country in any Olympic competition or in any world championship subject to WADA regulations. However, Russian athletes may participate in such events provided that they are not subject to suspension imposed by a competent authority and that the Russian flag is not included in their uniform, but the words «neutral athlete». Moreover, the Russian national anthem will never be able to sound even if they get on a podium. Moreover, the TAS announced a number of conditions that RUSADA must meet over the next two years in order to regain its status as a valid agency. These include the payment of $1.27 million (just over a million euros), among other amounts, to WADA for the costs incurred during its investigation since January 2019 of the Moscow laboratory.In addition, during these two years RUSADA will be at the service of WADA to carry out any new anti-doping research and will give full freedom to the relevant agencies to carry out anti-doping tests on Russian athletes without putting in any way. The panel of judges took into account for this reduction «issues of proportionality» and fundamentally «the need to promote a change of culture and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in an international clean sport». The DECISION of the TAS was recognized by the World Anti-Doping Agency, which noted that the court’s opinion «largely confirms» the recommendation it made through an independent committee last November. For the agency, the TAS ruling «is a clear endorsement» of its assertion that the Moscow Laboratory data «was intentionally altered before and while it was being copied expertly» during an investigation in January 2019, months after RUSADA was readmitted.» WADA is delighted to have won this historic case. We left no stone uns remover in investigating this complex matter and presenting our case to the TAS,» Witold Banka, president of WADA, said in a statement, which believes that the court panel has «clearly» confirmed its findings warning that «the Russian authorities brazenly and illegally manipulated Moscow Laboratory data in an effort to cover up an institutionalized doping plot.» The leader considers this opinion «an important moment for clean sport and athletes around the world,» but was «disappointed» that he «did not endorse each and every one» of his recommendations to maintain the four-year sanction period, and that they saw «proportional and reasonable.» However, he noted that «these consequences remain the strongest ever imposed on a country for doping-related violations.» «Russia will not be able to participate, submit nominations or host any events, for the next two years, including two editions of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and many other major events. This sends a clear message that institutionalized traps and concerted efforts to upset the global anti-doping system will not be tolerated,» he stressed. The atrocious manipulation by the Russian authorities of the data retrieved by AMA from the Moscow Laboratory was the latest in a long list of crimes and today has had important consequences for the authorities,» WADA President continued, lamenting that Russian leaders chose «to continue on their path of deception and denial» rather than «put their home in order and rejoin the global anti-doping community for the sake of of their athletes and the integrity of the sport.» The facts judged date back to 2016, when a report by WADA’s independent commission revealed that a Moscow laboratory overseen by the Ministry of Sports of Rmanipulated the analytical results of athletes and held a widespread doping plot during the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.According to that report, led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, during the 2014 Olympic event there was a widespread plot of doping and manipulation of tests conducted on Russian athletes, overseen by the Ministry of Sports.The report addressed allegations made by former Moscow anti-doping lab chief , Grigory Rodchenkov, who two months earlier had revealed in The New York Times that the Russians used doping substances in Sochi with the approval of national authorities. Rodchenkov noted that up to 15 Russian medalists in Sochi were part of a program in which contaminated urine samples were changed to clean ones.