ROME—When the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced what seemed like sweeping sanctions by banning Russia from all major sports events for the next four years, it looked like the anti-doping movement finally won a major victory. But thanks to the European soccer entity UEFA, the ban is not exactly comprehensive. Under WADA’s rules, events held by the Union of European Football Associations are not part of the ban. UEFA runs some of the soccer world’s most prestigious events including the UEFA European Football Championships, the next of which are called the Euro 2020. In fact, St. Petersburg, Russia, is a host city for some of UEFA’s most important—read: money-making—upcoming Euro 2020 group matches, including the quarter-finals next summer. The Russian city will then host UEFA’s Champions League final in 2021—all while under the four-year ban. Russia will be allowed to participate in all UEFA events because they are not considered “major events” by the International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories, the rules of which say that because UEFA is a single-sport body, it doesn’t meet the mark. Never mind that the competitions are watched by millions of global soccer enthusiasts—the last Euro championship game had 600 million viewers, far… Read full this story
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