South Africa's flag will not be banned for the Rugby World Cup quarter-final with France ©Getty Images

South Africa has launched an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) after the country was declared non-compliant by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The move means that the non-compliance is put on hold and South Africa will be spared the embarrassment of its flag being banned at the ongoing Cricket and Rugby World Cups.

WADA ruled that the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport was non-compliant in September as its code had not been implemented into the country's legislation.

A deadline of Friday (October 13) was set for South Africa to update its national anti-doping laws but this was almost certain to be missed.

As well as a flag ban, non-compliance means that a country is unable to host major events such as continental and World Championships under WADA's rules.

"I believe the grounds for appeal are strong and that the sanctions are not appropriate," said South Africa's Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa.

"The sanction as it pertains to the flying of the national flag has created unnecessary hysteria and punished athletes and players unfairly.

"I am confident that WADA will recognise these efforts as a commitment to pass the amended legislation and suspend the non-compliance declaration.

South Africa are also playing in the ongoing Cricket World Cup in India ©Getty Images
South Africa are also playing in the ongoing Cricket World Cup in India ©Getty Images

South Africa are the reigning men's Rugby World Cup champions and the Springboks face a huge quarter-final with hosts France in Paris on Sunday (October 15).

The country is also due to play its second match of the Cricket World Cup in India tomorrow, against Australia in Lucknow.

South Africa Rugby President Mark Alexander called the situation an "embarrassment".

"We have this problem because our Government failed to have new legislation promulgated," he said.

"It is a disgrace. 

"They were issued notice well in advance."

Rassie Erasmus, South Africa's director of rugby, added: "We're glad that it's in a way sorted out." 

WADA acknowledged that the appeal at CAS had been filed.

"WADA has received formal notification from the South Africa NADO that it disputes the allegation of non-compliance against it, as well as the proposed consequences," it said.

"WADA will shortly refer the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for its consideration. 

"As such, the allegation of non-compliance is put on hold and the consequences will not apply until such time as CAS makes its ruling."