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Russia braces for blanket Olympic ban

The never-ending Russia doping saga will hit another dramatic peak on Monday when its Tokyo Olympics status and prospects for hosting international sports events will be on line. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) leaders have been urged by expert advisers to take a hard line on Russian state tampering with a Moscow laboratory database that was meant to bring the scandal toward closure. Instead, the latest round of broken promises risks tainting Russia in world sports for at least four more years.

The national flag and anthem faces being banned from major events, including the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo and 2022 Winter Games in Beijing. Some hosting rights could be stripped from Russia by sports governing bodies bound by WADA rules to respect Monday’s ruling. Still, a decision due to be announced on Monday in the Olympic city of Lausanne, Switzerland, will likely not be the end. Appeals and more legal action are expected ahead of the July 24 opening ceremony in Tokyo and beyond.