Jamaica track and field superstar Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce already has one eye on defending her World Championship title on home soil, so to speak, with the 2021 edition set to be held in the North American region.

The 32-year-old created history at the last edition of the event in Doha, where she became the first woman to win four 100m world titles.  Fraser-Pryce has captured the world title at the Berlin (2009), Moscow (2013), Beijing (2015) and Doha (2018) World Championships.

Even though it is the Tokyo Olympics that is on the immediate horizon, the diminutive sprinter admits it is hard not to try and take a peek a little further ahead, an event that is likely to be her last major games appearance.

“After Tokyo, I am the defending champion at the world championships in Eugene and that is so close to home,” Fraser-Pryce told the AFP.

“It’s a few hours [flight] from Jamaica and to be able to end a career close to home, where I can have most, if not all, of my family in attendance, would be the highlight of my career,” she added.

“I am taking it a year at a time. After Tokyo, I can make that decision.”

Hackers targeted LaLiga giants Barcelona and the Olympic Games movement on Saturday as their Twitter accounts were attacked.

The OurMine group posted messages on multiple accounts belonging to Barcelona and the International Olympic Committee.

Barcelona have accounts in several languages and relating to various aspects of the club, including their La Masia youth academy, and all appeared to have been hacked.

The hacking incident came soon after Barca beat Getafe to join Real Madrid on 52 points at the top of LaLiga.

Each account sent out the message: "Hi, we are OurMine. Well, this is the second time, the security level is better but still not the best to improve your accounts security."

The OurMine group previously hacked Barcelona's Twitter in 2017, falsely claiming the club would be signing Angel Di Maria from Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona acknowledged the latest cybersecurity breach after taking back control of their accounts, posting: "FC Barcelona's Twitter accounts have been hacked, which is why messages from outside our club have appeared, and which have been reported and deleted. The tweets were made through a third-party tool for data analytics.

"FC Barcelona will conduct a cybersecurity audit and will review all protocols and links with third party tools, in order to avoid such incidents and to guarantee the best service to our members and fans. We apologise for any inconvenience this situation may have caused."

The Olympic Games accounts were similarly attacked.

Messages from OurMine were posted across its official accounts, including those for the Olympics, Athlete365 and IOC Media, before being deleted.

The hacker group has previously targeted such organisations as WikiLeaks, Real Madrid, the NFL and its teams, Facebook, Instagram and the New York Times.

Zion Williamson has expressed an interest in representing the United States at an Olympics, having been left off the country's preliminary roster for the Tokyo Games.

The USA, who have won gold at the last three Olympics, announced their 44-man list for the 2020 Games earlier this week, with LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kawhi Leonard among the star names included.

However, there is no place for 19-year-old rookie sensation Williamson, while other impressive youngsters like Trae Young and Ja Morant have also been overlooked.

New Orleans Pelicans forward Williamson has poured in at least 20 points in eight of his first 10 NBA games - a feat last achieved by the great Michael Jordan when he was a rookie - and the teenager revealed he is keen to play for USA down the line.

"That is something I would definitely want to do in the future," he told reporters.

"I think there's nothing better than representing your country."

Williamson was speaking ahead of the NBA's All-Star weekend, when he will represent Team USA in the Rising Stars Challenge.

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Morant, the current Rookie of the Year forerunner, and the Atlanta Hawks' sophomore Young are also on a team that will face a world side that has Luka Doncic and RJ Barrett on its roster.

"It's an honour to be here in my first year, despite being 10 games in," added Williamson, who missed the first three months of the season due to a knee injury.

The first overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft was also asked which of the game's greats he tries to emulate when he was on the court.

"I don't try to emulate any of them. I just try to bring my own style to the game," he replied.

"I watched a lot of [Michael] Jordan, [Larry] Bird and Magic [Johnson] clips."

Tokyo Olympics organisers have promised a "calm" response to the coronavirus epidemic and remain confident the Games will go ahead as planned.

Over 1,350 deaths have occurred in China, and a major spike in recorded cases on Wednesday has caused fresh concern over the spread of the virus.

A Japanese cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, has been quarantined because of the large number of confirmed cases on board, with over 200 passengers reported to be infected.

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said: "Regarding the coronavirus which started in Hubei province in China, there were irresponsible rumours. I would like to clearly reiterate that cancellation or postponement of the Tokyo Games are not being considered."

Mori added: "The [Japanese] government has also set up a task force for new coronavirus infectious diseases at the prime minister's office and they are implementing measures such as border control. The organising committee will deal [with the coronavirus] calmly in co-operation with the government."

International Olympic Committee co-ordination commission chairman John Coates said at the same event in Tokyo: "We have unexpected issues to deal with, for example the coronavirus outbreak is one event."

He said the objective ahead of the Olympics and Paralympics was "to ensure that all of the athletes and all of the people who come to Japan for the Games are not going to be affected and that all the necessary precautions are being taken".

Saburo Kawabuchi, who is mayor of the Olympic Village, attempted to calm fears surrounding the spread of the coronavirus and its possible impact on the Games.

He said: "As far as we know from various sources, we have heard that the virus is not stronger than influenza. Because the virus is weak against moisture and heat, Japan has the best season to kill the rainy season virus."

A number of major sporting events in China have been cancelled or postponed because of the coronavirus, including the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix and the athletics World Indoor Championships.

On Thursday, World Rugby announced it had rescheduled the Hong Kong and Singapore legs of the World Rugby Sevens Series because of the outbreak.

Both had been due to take place in April but World Rugby said the Singapore event would now take place on October 10-11, and the Hong Kong tournament would be played on October 16-18.

"The health and safety of our players, fans and everyone working on the event is always our highest priority," World Rugby said in a statement.

"This prudent decision has been taken in order to help protect the global rugby community and the wider public and was taken based on the World Health Organization and relevant public authority travel and health guidelines."

LeBron James says there are multiple factors that will determine whether he ends up playing at the Olympic Games this year.

The Los Angeles Lakers star is one of 44 finalists for a place in the United States men's basketball team and he acknowledged his "name is in the hat".

By early June, that group will be cut down to a final 12 to play at the Olympics in Tokyo and, should he feature, James will join Carmelo Anthony as the second player to represent Team USA at four separate Games.

The 12-team basketball event will run from July 25 until August 9 and James is unsure over his participation at this stage of the NBA season.

But he was thrilled to see five Lakers players make the initial group, with Anthony Davis, Kyle Kuzma, Dwight Howard and Javale McGee also included.

"Spectacular, it's amazing," said the 35-year-old. 

"We're very well represented with the Lake Show representing the red, white and blue. So it's a pretty cool thing."

On his participation, James added: "It's always predicated on: one, my body, how my body is feeling at the end of the season – I hope to make a long playoff run.

"And then where my mind is and then where my family's head is. So it's a lot of factors, but my name is in the hat."

James was speaking after the Lakers cruised to a 125-100 home win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday, a fourth win from five games moving them to 40-12 for the season.

Davis had 25 points and 10 rebounds, while Rajon Rondo impressed from the bench with 23 points as Howard added 14 points and 15 rebounds.

James, meanwhile, narrowly missed a triple-double with 17 points, nine assists and eight rebounds as the Lakers reached 40 wins before the All-Star break for the first time in nine years.

"It was a great game for our bench," said James.

"Rajon had great pace all night and he was taking all the looks he was getting. Dwight controlled the glass."

Suns coach Monty Williams added: "We dared Rondo to shoot from the perimeter and he made us pay."

LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were among the 44 finalists for a place in the United States men's basketball team for the 2020 Olympic Games.

Three-time Olympic medallist James and nine of the players from the successful 2016 campaign in Rio were included on the list announced by USA Basketball on Monday.

Should the Los Angeles Lakers star make the final 12-man roster, he will join Carmelo Anthony as the second player to represent Team USA at four separate Games.

Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson won gold in Brazil four years ago and have made the cut despite being yet to play a minute in the NBA this season due to respective Achilles and knee injuries.

Curry was named despite being sidelined since October with a broken left hand.

All 12 members of the USA's 2019 FIBA World Cup team remain in the running, with 21 NBA franchises represented in the 44-man list.

Head coach Gregg Popovich said: "I'm looking forward to coaching the U.S. Olympic Team, and I'm excited about the potential and possibilities this team has.

"Anyone who follows international basketball knows there are many really good players from all around the world, and therefore there are many excellent national teams.

"International basketball has improved so much from the days of the 'Dream Team'. The Olympics in 2020 will be a true competition, and there are many teams that will have a legitimate shot at capturing gold."

 

Finalists for the USA's Tokyo 2020 team:

Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), LaMarcus Aldridge (San Antonio Spurs), Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Malcolm Brogdon (Indiana Pacers), Jaylen Brown (Boston Celtics), Jimmy Butler (Miami Heat), Mike Conley (Utah Jazz), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), DeMar DeRozan (San Antonio Spurs), Andre Drummond (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets), Paul George (Los Angeles Clippers), Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors), James Harden (Houston Rockets), Montrezl Harrell (Los Angeles Clippers), Joe Harris (Brooklyn Nets), Tobias Harris (Philadelphia 76ers), Gordon Hayward (Boston Celtics), Dwight Howard (Los Angeles Lakers), Brandon Ingram (New Orleans Pelicans), Kyrie Irving (Brooklyn Nets), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers), Kawhi Leonard (Los Angeles Clippers), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Brook Lopez (Milwaukee Bucks), Kevin Love (Cleveland Cavaliers), Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors), JaVale McGee (Los Angeles Lakers), Khris Middleton (Milwaukee Bucks), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Victor Oladipo (Indiana Pacers), Chris Paul (Oklahoma City Thunder), Mason Plumlee (Denver Nuggets), Marcus Smart (Boston Celtics), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors), Myles Turner (Indiana Pacers), Kemba Walker (Boston Celtics), Russell Westbrook (Houston Rockets), Derrick White (San Antonio Spurs).

Jamaican athletes preparing for the Olympics and Paralympics got some welcome news on Sunday night.

Olympic organisers are "extremely worried" about the impact the spread of the coronavirus could have on the Tokyo Games.

In excess of 24,300 cases of the virus have been recorded in China, with 490 people confirmed dead.

A cruise ship in the Japanese port of Yokohama has been quarantined after 10 people on board tested positive.

Tokyo Organising Committee chief executive Toshiro Muto has expressed his concern over the epidemic five months before the Olympics get under way.

"We are extremely worried in the sense that the spread of the infectious virus could pour cold water on momentum for the Games," Muto said.

"I hope that it can be eradicated as quickly as possible. We plan to cooperate with the IOC (International Olympic Committee), the IPC (International Paralympic Committee), the government and the city of Tokyo to tackle the disease."

Saburo Kawabuchi, head of the athletes' village, said: "I hope from my heart that we can overcome this (virus) and have a smooth Olympics.

"We will do everything we can to protect the athletes to allow them to produce their best performances."

The IOC last week refuted reports that the Games could be cancelled.

An IOC statement said: "Countermeasures against infectious diseases constitute an important part of Tokyo 2020's plans to host a safe and secure Games.

"Tokyo 2020 will continue to collaborate with all relevant organisations which carefully monitor any incidence of infectious diseases and will review any countermeasures."

Coco Gauff said playing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year is "definitely the goal" following the 15-year-old's Australian Open exit.

Gauff's fairytale run in Melbourne came to an end at the hands of fellow American Sofia Kenin, who rallied past the teenage sensation 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-0 in the fourth round on Sunday.

After dethroning defending champion Naomi Osaka, highly rated Gauff was unable to get past Kenin to reach her maiden grand slam quarter-final.

But the world number 67 was in good spirits post-match as she looks to qualify for Tokyo 2020.

"That's definitely the goal," Gauff told reporters when asked about the Olympics, which gets underway in July. "Hopefully I can get my ranking up and qualify. I'm sure the cutoff is French Open. 

"I'm pretty sure I only have like three tournaments before French Open, so… it will be difficult. But I'm going to try as hard as possible. I definitely do want to play the Olympics. I mean, it would be pretty cool."

Gauff dazzled in her first Australian Open main draw appearance, upstaging Venus Williams, Sorana Cirstea and Osaka en route to the last 16.

"My short-term goal is to improve," Gauff added. "That's the main thing. I'm doing well right now at 15. I still have so much I feel like I can get better on. Even my parents, my team, they all believe I can get better.

"I don't even think this is close to a peak for me, even though I'm doing well right now. The goal is just really to get better, you know, have these good runs at tournaments, building up my experience and playing more tournaments just so I can be ready for matches like this today."

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel is thrilled by Kylian Mbappe's ambition to win a "triple-whammy" of the Champions League, Euro 2020 and the Olympics football tournament this year.

Mbappe, 21, has already won nine trophies in senior football, including the 2018 World Cup, in which the striker scored four times.

PSG again look on track to dominate French football this season, as they lead Ligue 1 and remain in the hunt in the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue.

But the trophy that has continued to elude them since Qatar Sports Investments took over as majority shareholders in 2011 is the Champions League, and Mbappe wants to finally end that wait this season, before then going on to enjoy Euro 2020 and Olympics success with his country.

While this ambition is not new to Tuchel, the German feels such belief will stand him in good stead.

"Well, okay, that is good," Tuchel told reporters when asked about Mbappe's declaration. "It means that we can work, it is a great challenge, three great challenges and goals.

"But with him, it's always like that. He is convinced of that and I think it's a good thing because it means he is very confident and you need confidence to achieve such goals.

"I hope, at least for PSG, that he will be able to achieve the first [the Champions League] and then the second and third for France."

Since initially joining on loan from Monaco in 2017, Mbappe has scored 59 goals in 70 Ligue 1 matches and forged an impressive partnership with Neymar, who boasts a haul of 45 from 49 outings across the same period.

The pair appear to have an impressive understanding of each other on the pitch, though Tuchel insists PSG do not train in an attempt to improve Neymar and Mbappe, but rather learn how best to capitalise on their brilliance.

"We always work with the positions during training, and together they train during possession games, for example," Tuchel said. "They like to play alongside each other. They are very smooth in their movements and there is a great partnership between the two of them.

"But it's not on us to improve them because they have the quality to do that. We have to find spaces and create a structure and the formation where both are free to attack.

"Maybe we have to create an understanding of when and where they can take risks or when and where they have to be more careful, but both are brilliant."

PSG travel to Reims in the Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals on Wednesday, with Mbappe and Neymar expected to feature after being rested during Sunday's 1-0 Coupe de France victory over Ligue 2's Lorient.

Venus Williams said she would love to play doubles with sister Serena at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year after Monday's Australian Open first-round exit.  

It was a case of deja vu for Venus, who went down 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to 15-year-old Coco Gauff in a rematch of 2019's memorable Wimbledon clash.

Venus was stunned by the American teenager at the All England Club last year and the 39-year-old former world number one suffered the same fate in Melbourne.

Her attention, however, turned to the Olympics after a straight-sets loss on Margaret Court Arena.

"In a perfect world, I would play every time. I love it," seven-time grand slam singles champion Venus said in her news conference.

Asked specifically about teaming up with 23-time major winner Serena Williams and whether she has discussed the prospect with her sibling, Venus replied: "I mean, in the perfect world, we'll be there.

"If I'm blessed enough to play again, that would be an amazing opportunity."

Venus has won four Olympic gold medals, one in singles at Sydney 2000 and three in partnership with Serena, while she also boasts 14 women's doubles titles in slams. 

"[I've] had a lot of success in doubles," she added. "That's been a real highlight in my career."

Boca Juniors have failed in a bid to delay the resumption of the Superliga season, after claiming a clash with players' international commitments left them at a disadvantage.

The next full round of Superliga games is billed for January 24-26, ending a six-week mid-season break, but Argentina Under-23 players will be engaged in qualifying for the Olympic Games.

Argentina play Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Venezuela between January 18 and January 30, looking to advance to the next stage in February and close on one of two CONMEBOL places at Tokyo 2020.

Boca had just two players named in the squad last month - Nicolas Capaldo and Alexis Mac Allister - yet they led protests against the Superliga schedule.

The club released a statement on Thursday, which read: "The new leadership of the club considers that restarting the championship as planned means a sporting disadvantage for our institution, due to the players that we have contributed to the national team, and we ask for the corresponding postponement.

"If there is something that characterises Boca throughout its history, it is the commitment to the national teams in all its representations.

"And the only thing we want is to continue with that commitment [while] taking care of the interests of our club, which is the task entrusted to us by the members in the elections of December 8, 2019.

"For this reason, through a letter to the Superliga authorities signed by president Jorge Amor Ameal, Boca requests the postponement of the start of the tournament in question, as well as a meeting to discuss economic aspects."

However, the Superliga announced on its website that the 17th round of games would go ahead as planned, after "general consensus" was reached at an executive committee meeting.

Argentinian sports newspaper Ole reported the results of a poll among the 24 Superliga clubs.

It said that with 16 votes required to make the alteration, just 15 were in favour, with Boca's rivals River Plate reportedly among the nine against the motion.

Boca, who sit in second place, behind Argentinios Juniors, are due to play Independiente on January 26.

Out with the old and in with the new.

Happy new year! Happy new decade! To your health, and to your wealth. May your future be prosperous and your family live in abundance.

Remember when we'd greet each other with such forceful cheer, way back in 2020? When Donald Trump was merely a White House tweeting machine, and not yet a challenger to Jack Nicklaus' golf majors record.

This is a message dispatched from Tuesday, January 1, 2030, and you've just swallowed the theory that the so-called former "commander-in-cheat" might legitimately win not one golf tournament but upwards of 18 against the world's elite.

The funny thing is, had it happened, perhaps it would not have been the most seismic event of the past 10 years - a turbulent, anything-goes period in sporting history.

Some will tell you sport in the 2020s reached its nadir when FIFA's executive committee needed three days of meetings before ruling out staging the 2029 Club World Cup in the cities of Chernobyl and Pripyat. You can't, it turns out, carry out urban regeneration within a nuclear exclusion zone, not even with the best will in the world and the 100% backing of CONMEBOL.

Others will look to the NFL appointing Sarah Sanders as its commissioner. Here, in any case, is an advance snapshot of the decade you're about to live through.

A 39th game in the Premier League ... and goodbye to VAR! 

By the dawn of the 2020s nobody doubted heads could be turned by great wedges of cash. The Premier League's long-mooted '39th game' finally got the green light, with an extra round of fixtures being staged in the United States in 2023 - predictably overshadowed by a routine weekend of college football.

Away from dollar-driven 'progress', 2023 also saw the VAR system abolished by incoming FIFA president and career goal-hanger Gary Lineker. No one countenanced ever speaking of VAR again.

Roger… and still not out!

Roger Federer has never added to those 20 grand slam titles he tallied in the '00s and '10s, and agonisingly he saw Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both nudge one ahead of him on the all-time list in the early 2020s. Where are Rafa and Nole now though? In an incontestable, quite glorious triumph for Team Federer, Roger is rolling on at the age of 48, a knock-in for those Wimbledon and US Open wild cards and still a fixture in Anna Wintour's wildest dreams.

In 2026, Federer partnered his 16-year-old daughter Myla Rose in mixed doubles at the Australian Open. "I've always wanted to keep going until my grandchildren have the chance to see me play, but of course so many people want to write me off," said Roger in a post-match interview.

Federer, hunting that elusive 21st major, has reached the third round of a major only twice since 2022. The year 2022, coincidentally, saw Serena Williams finally match and then pass Margaret Court's women’s tour record of 24 singles slams, immediately quitting tennis and public life at the age of 40 for a surprising second career in taxidermy. Cross the formidable Serena these days and you really can get stuffed.

Run off track

Peeved with persistent pee-test perniciousness, the plug was pulled on Olympic athletics six months out from Los Angeles 2028. To assuage the choking loss of track and field, the sport was substituted on the Memorial Coliseum stadium schedules by daily NFL games, thus guaranteeing stunning television audiences and spectacular financial success, feathering the IOC nest. The rest of the world audience, as per, embraced whatever sport in which their country had concocted a way to become world-beaters since the Tokyo Olympics. America's dominance of the shooting proved a sore point with some observers, given the successful dismantling of the NRA by President Michelle Obama's administration.

Hearn in space

'No context' in 2019, and no gravity by 2028, boxing promoter Eddie Hearn teamed up in a co-promotion with Elon Musk's SpaceX corporation to announce boxing's first showdown on the International Space Station. The Matchroom boss guffawed and called the experience "different gravy" on a recce trip, yet not one astronaut on the ISS laughed back nor posted a three-second clip straight to Twitter. Even from a height of 250 miles, the world instantly felt a better place.

Coming out was the new staying in

A host of sports stars – you'll recognise some of the names, but all in good time - came out as proud members of the LGBTQ+ community over the last decade. The enlightened public majority welcomed the healthy cultural shift that made it possible, and an ignorant minority was soon shouted down. After years of suppressing their true selves in public, this generation of athletes was able to thrive in large parts of the world. There's no punchline here, just the hope we don't screw this one up in the years ahead.

The future's female, are we nearly there yet?

How has the gender gap closed over the course of the 2020s, you wonder? Here's an answer: significantly but not sufficiently.

Sure, there's been a woman reaching the final of the darts world championship, half a dozen female Formula One drivers, Sam Kerr grabbed a handful of A-League goals when guesting for Perth Glory, and we've seen the first prominent football managers crossing over to the men’s game (Emma Hayes spent two years at Fulham, Corinne Diacre had 15 months with Lille, Laura Harvey is bossing the Seattle Sounders and Sarina Wiegman is sporting director of PSV).

The future's better: stadiums are now packed for women's World Cups in football, rugby and cricket.

Squabbling over tennis prize money calmed when grand slams cut matches across the board to best-of-three-set contests, yet achieving outright equality across the sporting spectrum will be one for the 2030s crew to take on.

And finally…

Football 'came home', with England driven to their 2026 World Cup triumph by a combination of Jurgen Klopp's astute management, Harvey Elliott's mastery of the number 10 role, and Real Madrid frontman Dominic Calvert-Lewin's irresistible finishing.

Just one more thing…

Don't believe everything you read. That last memory of the decade? Bigly fake news. To the delight of their many World Cup frenemies, the England football team is still FAILING.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) has confirmed it will appeal a four-year suspension handed to the country by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Earlier this month, WADA banned Russian teams and athletes from competing under the country's flag at global sporting events – including the 2020 Olympics and 2022 World Cup – over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

RUSADA was given 21 days to appeal the suspension, and the organisation has now confirmed it will take its case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Should the sanction stay in place, individual Russian athletes will still be able to enter global competitions under a neutral flag, as was the case for 168 Russians at the 2018 Winter Olympics when the country was banned.

The International Standard for Code Compliance by Signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation", so Russia will also be free to compete at Euro 2020.

Stanislav Cherchesov's side have qualified for the finals, where St Petersburg is one of the host cities.

Russian president Vladimir Putin had previously suggested the country would appeal the ban, suggesting the sanctions were "political".

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) will appeal against a ruling that has led to the country being banned from global sporting events for four years.

RUSADA was declared non-compliant with World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] standards over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

Athletes will not be able to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games, while Russia's place at the 2022 World Cup is also in jeopardy.

WADA said on December 9 it had given Russia three weeks in which it could launch an appeal, and RUSADA supervisory board chairman Alexander Ivlev was quoted on Thursday as confirming there would be a challenge to the decision.

"I think it will be in the next 10-15 days," Ivlev said, according to Russia's TASS news agency. "Then the ball will be on the side of WADA, and the situation will develop in the legal field."

The case is set to be reviewed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Despite Russia's ban, individual athletes from the country are still set to be able to enter global competitions under a neutral flag, as was the case for 168 Russians at the 2018 Winter Olympics when the country was banned.

Russian president Vladimir Putin reiterated on Thursday his opposition to the punishment.

Speaking in his annual marathon news conference, Putin said: "With regard to WADA and the WADA decision, I believe that this is not only an unfair decision, but also not consistent with common sense and law."

Putin also said he was confident one global sporting event coming to Russia in 2022 would go ahead as planned.

"I think that the World Volleyball Championship will still be held in Russia, despite the decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency," he said.

"It seems to me we should calmly wait for the final decision, in particular the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in order to understand in what position we are in.

"But the Russian athletes were preparing and will prepare for all competitions."

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