Russia’s ban from all major sporting events after a doping scandal has been cut to two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The ban still prevents Russia from competing in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, set to be held next year, and football’s 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Russia was initially given a four-year ban by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
CAS said the reduction of the ban should not be seen “as any validation” of Russia’s conduct.
The ban will now run until 16 December 2022.
Russia will be allowed to play at next year’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament because European football’s governing body UEFA is not defined as a “major event organisation” with regards to rulings on anti-doping breaches.
Wada declared Russia’s Anti Doping Agency (Rusada) non-compliant for manipulating laboratory data handed over to investigators in January 2019.
Russia had been told to hand over data to Wada as a condition of its controversial reinstatement in 2018 after a three-year suspension for its vast state-sponsored doping scandal.
“The panel has imposed consequences to reflect the nature and seriousness of the non-compliance and to ensure that the integrity of sport against the scourge of doping is maintained,” said CAS, which announced the ruling on Thursday.
“It has considered matters of proportionality and, in particular, the need to effect cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport.”
Russia has also been prevented from hosting international events during the same period.
When Wada announced its sanction last December, Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev said the ban was part of “chronic anti-Russian hysteria”.
Athletes who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.
A total of 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Russia has been banned from competing as a nation in athletics since 2015.
© BBC Sports
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