SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – On Monday, the World Anti-Doping Agency announced Russia will be banned from the Olympics in 2020 and the World Cup in 2022 over its now-infamous doping scandal.
The punishment dictates the Russian Flag, name and anthem won’t be allowed in the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Speed skater and Gold Medalist Derek Parra, who won Gold during the 2002 Olympics in Utah, says the announcement is a sad day for sports.
“Russia’s a powerhouse of a country,” said Parra.
“If you look at their medal count from the last games, and their games in Sochi, they’re one to reckon with,” he added.
He says the news is likely to help elite athletes stay focused since they know they will now face a more even playing field in competition. Some Russian athletes, though, will be allowed to compete under a neutral flag.
“You potentially may be hurting some clean athletes, that are involved in a system unfortunately that they’re a part of because they were born in that country,” said Parra.
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