Monday, 11 December, 2017

Russian Federation barred from competing in Winter Olympics

RUSADA remains non-compliant with the World Anti Doping Agency RUSADA remains non-compliant with the World Anti Doping Agency
Lillian Steele | 06 December, 2017, 01:07

There will be no Russian anthems, flags or uniforms at February's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after the country was banned for state-sponsored doping.

"The IOC executive board has made its positon to the responsibility of Mr. Mutko very clear", said Bach, who would not comment if it was appropriate for soccer's governing body FIFA to continue working with an official who is also president of Russia's soccer federation. The Olympic Anthem will be played in any ceremony for medals won by these athletes.

The IOC told a news conference that the Schmid report confirmed "the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russian Federation". Separately, the Oswald commission, set up by the International Olympic Committee to examine Russian doping in Sochi in 2014, began to ban Russian competitors from those Games retrospectively.

"The IOC, at its absolute discretion, will ultimately determine the athletes to be invited from the list", said the IOC's statement, ruling out all those to have previously committed a doping violation.

It said this confirmed the "unprecedented nature of the cheating scheme and, as a outcome, the exceptional damage to the integrity of the IOC, the Olympic Games and the entire Olympic Movement".

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was also banned from any future participation at the Olympic Games.

A delegation from Russia led by Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhokov was on hand at IOC headquarters to receive the first word of the IOC decision. This was reported on the website of the International Olympic Committee. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sets up an independent commission headed by its former chief, Dick Pound, to investigate the claims.

The IOC's decision to choose a more moderate path, instead of a blanket ban, does offer some Russian athletes a path to competing in the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea - although that will be by invitation only and dependent on a stringent testing programme.

"An Olympic boycott has never achieved anything", IOC President Thomas Bach said at a news conference. "Requirements have been issued to the global federations and RUSADA (Russian anti-doping agency) for the level of testing of those athletes", he said. Those probes have concluded that more than 1,000 Russian athletes across at least 30 sports, including both summer and winter events, had been involved in doping that dated from at least 2011.

At a press conference in Lausanne, streamed on the International Olympic Committee website, Schmid said his findings were based on more than just the testimony of Russian whistle-blower Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory who fled Russia in November 2015 and is now in the witness protection scheme in the United States. So far the figure stands at 25 athletes, with 11 medals stripped.

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