The World Anti-Doping Agency’s unanimously imposed a total ban on Russian participation in all global sporting activities, including the World Cup and Olympics, for four years after the Russian government was found to have (once again) concocted an elaborate and wide-ranging doping program for years.
This ban stems from a World Anti-Doping Agency January investigation to determine Russia's compliance with worldwide doping rules. In January, WADA officials traveled to Russia to collect samples from a testing lab at the center of their earlier doping scandal back in 2014 that led to the first round of sanctions against the country. It soon became clear to the WADA officials that "a significant number of the results in the data the Russians surrendered to WADA had been changed or deleted in an effort to cover up — at minimum — dozens of potential doping violations."
What is now known is that the doping program has been around since late 2011 and never really stopped despite the numerous times they have been caught. So, the real question isn't whether a four year ban is too harsh, but instead whether a four year ban will actually convince Russia to cease their doping program.
Russia didn't create cheating or doping in sports, but they sure, for lack of a better analogy, injected steroids into it. They turned something that a bad apple here and there does into a sophisticated, state-run doping conspiracy designed to give them a secret competitive advantage. The WADA is doing its best to get them back in line, but it remains to be known whether Russia will get in line.