A blanket ban on Russias participation at the Rio Olympics could be recommended by the World Anti-Doping Agency if accusations of state-sponsored doping at Sochi 2014 are proved
A blanket ban on Russian athletes competing at the Rio Olympics could be recommended by the World Anti-Doping Agency if accusations of state-sponsored doping at Sochi 2014 are proved.
Russias track and field stars have already been excluded from competing in Rio by the IAAF, and the Wada president, Sir Craig Reedie, said he was minded to create a precedent-setting opportunity if a forthcoming report from the law professor Richard McLaren confirmed broader Russian government and security force collusion in helping athletes to cheat in other sports.
When pressed to explain what that meant in practice Reedie replied: We are encouraged that the IAAF recognises their responsibilities. They suspended the national federation in Russia because of code breaches. If there is clear evidence of other sports being involved, then clearly you would hope that other international federations might take the same view.
Describing what might come from the McLaren inquiry, which is due to report no later than 15July, as another high-profile moment, Reedie said: If the allegations are true, we will respond thoroughly and effectively. Reedies comments follow an interview Pound gave to The Sunday Times in which he described a complete Olympic ban for Russia as the nuclear option … but not impossible.
Meanwhile Wadas new director general, Olivier Niggli, said that, while it had no powers to ban countries or sports directly, it could make a recommendation. Its not impossible for other Russian sports to miss the Olympics, he said. The IAAF has set some interesting precedent. There are going to be some timing issues we are very close to Rio. I think there might be different actions based on the timing of all of this.
When asked whether he thought the International Olympic Committee needed to consider whether Russia should in Rio he replied: All our stakeholders need to take their responsibility depending on what the report says. Yes, I think this will be a question that is put to them.
The IOC will hold an Olympic summit in Lausanne on Tuesday when it is expected to follow Wadas lead by backing the decision to uphold the ban on Russias athletics federation. It is also expected to explore other penalties for countries whose anti-doping organisations are declared non-compliant by Wada. However, the possibility that Kenya will miss the Olympics has receded after Niggli confirmed that the country was making good progress towards becoming compliant again.
The Kenyan president has to ratify it, and my understand is that it is fairly imminent, he said. When it happens they will be part of the compliance programme again. I dont understand why they had to go through such a process to get there.
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