Women's Sports: Russia's women's rugby sevens side could be affected by ban

HSBC Women's Rugby Sevens Kitakyushu - Day 2

The World Anti Doping Agency today announced that Russia would be banned from global sports event for four years.

One team this could have a massive impact on is the women’s rugby sevens team, arguably one of the strongest women’s rugby teams in Europe.

Women’s rugby is steadily gaining in popularity and Russia’s absence in the Women’s Sevens World Cup in 2022 could have a seriously concerning impact on the sport, not just in Russia.

Russia’s women’s sevens side has won the international European Women's Sevens Championship four times in four years and six times overall. They are tied with England as the team with the most number of wins in the competition.

The news that Wada has banned Russia from all global sports events will have the most immediate impact on the team's prospects at the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo next year.

The executive committee came to the decision during a meeting held in Lausanne, Switzerland today, but Russia have 21 days to appeal the decision.

If the decision is upheld, the women’s sevens side will not be allowed to compete at Tokyo 2020, and subsequent sevens competitions in Europe and beyond.

The Russian women’s side would have been looking to rectify their previous omission from the Rio Olympics in 2016. They were surprisingly beaten in the qualifiers for the competition by underdog side Spain in 2016, as the event was included in the Olympics schedule for the first time.

It looks as if the only way the Russian women's sevens side could feature at the 2020 Olympics in Japan would be under a neutral flag, with no Russian flag or anthem being permitted during the competition.

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