efe-epaBy Ignacio Ortega Moscow

Russians are accustomed to miraculous, last-minute interventions from President Vladimir Putin to save the country's honor, but the Kremlin will need to rely on more than skillful persuasion if Russian sport is to untangle itself from a sticky four-year ban from international events in relation to a massive doping scandal.

The World Anti-Doping Agency on Monday banned Russia from global sporting competitions for four years for manipulating laboratory data earlier in the year, meaning the country will miss both the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.