Russia is on timeout.

The eastern European nation is officially banned from participating in international sports for the next four years following the discovery that Russian Olympic athletes were part of a state-run doping program. The World Anti-Doping Agency unanimously voted to approve the punishment, which is one of the most severe punishments to be handed down in recent years. According to the New York Times, the WADA president Craig Reedie said in a press conference, "For too long, Russian doping has detracted from clean sport... Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and rejoin the global antidoping community for the good of its athletes and of the integrity of sport, but it chose instead to continue in its stance of deception and denial."

While the Russian team is not able to compete in next summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo, competitors from Russia who were not implicated in the doping scandal will be allowed to participate in international sports under a neutral flag. 

Last winter, athletes who performed at the 2018 Winter Games were given the title "Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR)."

However, over 1,000 Russian athletes from over 30 sports were forbidden from participating after it was found they'd been involved in doping since at least 2011. 

Larry Nassar

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Ryan Lochte, Olympian

Harry How/Getty Images

Vladimir Putin

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy


Maria Sharapova, Sports Scandals

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Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony

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Lady Gaga

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Nancy Kerrigan, Tonya Harding, 90s Scandals

Mike Powell/Getty Images; Chris Cole/Allsport

Jamie Sale, David Pelletier


Soviet Union Basketball

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Jimmy Carter

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Ben Johnson

Bob Thomas/Getty Images

Roy Jones Jr.

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Olympics in Pop Culture, Tommie Smith & John Carlos

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Awesome Olympians, Apolo Anton Ono


Michael Phelps, Tony the Tiger

Russia, Opening Ceremony, 2014, Winter, Olympics

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey,

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