• June 19, 2024

World Anti-Doping Agency Wants An Entire Country Banned From Rio Olympics

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The Olympic games begins next month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but Russia may not be there…

From Fox News:

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s executive board announced Monday it wants the International Olympic Committee to ban all Russian teams from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

WADA issued a seven-point list of requests after it published a report which confirmed claims of state-backed Russian cheating at the Sochi Olympics and beyond.

WADA also wants Russian government officials to be denied access to international competitions, including the upcoming Olympics. The anti-doping watchdog also calls on world governing bodies of sports implicated in the inquiry report to consider action against Russia.

CEO of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency Travis Tygart described the accusations as “a mind-blowing level of corruption within both Russian sport and government.”

The practice lasted at least four years, covered 28 Olympic sports and the Paralympics and involved at least 312 positive tests that went unreported at the behest of higher-ups in the country’s sports ministry, according to a 97-page report issued Monday.

But in his report, arbitrator Richard McLaren did not make any recommendations for the future of the Russian team at the Rio Olympics. He said it was up to others, including the International Olympic Committee, to “absorb and act upon” the report.

IOC President Thomas Bach called the revelations a “shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games” and said the IOC wouldn’t hesitate to apply the toughest sanctions available against those accused of cheating. The IOC executive board will meet Tuesday to begin sorting through options.

McLaren’s report said allegations made by Moscow’s former anti-doping lab director about sample switching at the Sochi Olympics went much as described in a New York Times story in May. That program involved dark-of-night switching of dirty samples with clean ones; it prevented Russian athletes, including more than a dozen medal winners, from testing positive.

But McLaren said the bottle tampering in Sochi was a one-shot deal. Meanwhile, Russia’s “disappearing positive methodology” began in 2011, shortly after Russia’s disappointing performance at the Vancouver Olympics. It included the 2013 track world championships in Moscow and was in place as recently as the 2015 swimming world championships in Kazan.

In short, Russia’s deputy minister of sports, who was also part of Russia’s Olympic Committee, would direct workers at Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory of which positive samples to send through and which to hold back. Assisting the plan was Russia’s national security service — the FSB, the current version of the Soviet Union’s KGB.

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