Vladimir Putin: Russia have grounds to appeal WADA decision

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Moscow has grounds to appeal a decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ban Russia from Tokyo 2020 and other major sporting events, a move he said violated the Olympic charter.

Russian athletes are unable to compete using the Russian flag, anthem and team names after WADA's executive committee voted on Monday and concluded that officials in a Moscow anti-doping laboratory had tampered with data.

Putin said that his country had grounds to appeal the decision as there was no complaints directed at Russia's national Olympic committee.

"If there are no complaints against it, then the country should compete under the national flag," Putin said at a news conference in Paris. "That's written in the Olympic charter. That means that, in that aspect, the WADA decision violated the Olympic charter. We have all grounds to appeal.

"Any punishment should be individual, and should be linked to what has been done ... by one person or another. A punishment cannot be collective, and apply to people who have nothing to do with certain violations.

"If someone takes such a decision about collective punishment, I think there is every grounds to suppose that the basis for such decisions is not a care about the purity of international sport, but political considerations which have nothing to do with the interest of sport or the Olympic movement."

Russian athletes will be unable to formally take part in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics next summer, as well as the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

Other major events that fall during the four-year period include world championships and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Russia has been caught in accusations of doping since 2015 when a WADA commissioned report found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.

The tampering that Russia are accused of undertaking includes planting fake evidence and deleting files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped identify drug cheats.