In the history of the Olympic Games, Russia have been one of the most supreme countries. Since their inception as the Soviet Union in the 1952 Helsinki Games, they have never finished below the top four in the medals table.

Russia have earned 149 gold, 125 silver, and 152 bronze medals at the Olympic Games after becoming split from the Soviet Union. However, just as it might break the 500 medal milestone, the country was prohibited from participating in the quadrennial sports event.

Moreover, because of the two-year prohibition issued by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Russia cannot compete in major sports events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Paralympics, and the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar. Let's find out the reason behind their imposed ban.

Why can't Russia participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games?

The Russian flag is carried during the Opening Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (Getty)

In January 2019, following accusations of manipulation of drug-testing data, WADA deemed the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant. The World Organization found proof that Russian athletes had been systematically mass-doping. Due to similar problems, the RUSADA was suspended by WADA between 2015 and 2018.

This prohibition implies that at any big sports event for two years Russia will not be permitted to use their name, flag, and anthem. In the same period, the country cannot also hold international contests. Athletes who can demonstrate that they are not compromised by the doping controversy, on the other hand, will be permitted to participate under a neutral flag.

Russian athletes will compete in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 and Beijing in 2022 under the name "ROC," an acronym for the Russian Olympic Committee. The ROC symbol is scheduled to be used in Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022, with implementation instructions indicating that the emblem should not include the Russian Federation flag or the term Russia.

How long does the ban on Russia for the anti-doping scandal last?

Gold medal winners Olympic Athletes from Russia in 2018 Winter Olympic Games. (Getty)

Russia were initially barred from participating in major events for four years. The decision was made by WADA's executive committee after it was determined that Moscow had tampered with laboratory data by planting bogus evidence and deleting files related to positive drug tests.

The samples date back to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi when suspicions of a state-sponsored doping scheme were initially raised. In December 2019, Russia's International ban was finally lowered to two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

At the 2018 Pyeongchang, South Korea Winter Games, Russian participants were referred to as '"Olympic athletes from Russia". The prohibition is scheduled to end on December 16, 2022, and Russia can finally start using their national symbols again from then on.