The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided not to fully ban Russia from the 2016 Rio Games even though the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found the doping scandal reached the government.
The IOC said:
Given the urgency of the situation, with the Olympic Games Rio 2016 starting in 12 days, and the athletes’ entry process already underway, the IOC EB had to take a preliminary decision with regard to the participation of Russian athletes in Rio de Janeiro. Prof. McLaren states in his report that it “fulfils partially the mandate of the Independent Person”. This is why the IOC supports his request to continue and finalise his work. On the other hand, this situation leads to an urgency for the IOC which does not allow it sufficient time for hearings for affected athletes, officials and organisations.
The International Association of Athletics Foundation (IAAF) already banned Russia’s track and field athletes.
IOC President Thomas Bach did not want to ban the country because that could affect players who remained clean:
“An athlete should not suffer and should not be sanctioned for a system in which he was not implicated,” Bach told reporters on a conference call after Sunday’s meeting.
Bach acknowledged the decision “might not please everybody.”
“This is not about expectations,” he said. “This is about doing justice to clean athletes all over the world.”
He also said they need to take time “to take individual justic into account.” However, Russia cannot send any athlete that has received sanctions for doping in the past:
That appears to rule out swimmer Yulia Efimova, the world champion in the 100-meter breaststroke, 2012 Olympic silver-medal-winning weightlifter Tatiana Kashirina and two-time Olympic bronze-medal-winning cyclist Olga Zabelinskaya. All three have previously served a doping ban.
This also includes runner Yulia Stepanova, who blew the whistle on the scandal. She cannot compete since officials caught her doping before. She wanted to compete in Rio under a neutral flag.
Last week, WADA revealed a damning report against Russia, that showed the doping scandal reached the government:
1. Given that the Russian Ministry of Sport orchestrated systematic cheating of Russian athletes to subvert the doping control process; and that, the evidence shows such subversion in 30 sports, including 20 Olympic summer sports and Paralympic sports, the presumption of innocence of athletes in these sports, and in all Russian sports, is seriously called into question.
Accordingly, WADA recommends to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to consider, under their respective Charters, to decline entries, for Rio 2016, of all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee. Furthermore, any exceptional entry of a Russian athlete should be considered by the IOC and IPC for participation under a neutral flag and in accordance with very strict criteria.
Now the Russian paralympic athletes face a hearing over doping. The International Paralympic Committee will decide on their fate next month. Their games in Rio start on September 7.
The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio begin on August 5.DONATE
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