POSTED: May 18th 2016

Olympics: Bach reiterates a zero tolerance for doping and calls for help with the WADA inquiry on Sochi

IOC President Thomas Bach said the Russian Olympic Committee is cooperating with the Sochi investigation by WADA © Getty Images
IOC President Thomas Bach said the Russian Olympic Committee is cooperating with the Sochi investigation by WADA © Getty Images

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) IOC President Thomas Bach talked to the international press today reiterating the organization's zero tolerance for doping cheats and at the same time issued a plea for anyone with any information to come forward as soon as possible to help speed up the WADA investigation.

Retesting of samples from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 will also lend more light on who may have slipped through the dragnet and will most likely stop some dozens of doped athletes participating in the Olympic Games in Rio this summer.

The recent doping allegations against the WADA accredited anti-doping laboratory in Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games caused an uproar across the Olympic Movement and Bach explained in detail the IOC's plan going forward.

The President said, "Protecting the clean athletes is a top priority of the IOC and Olympic Agenda 2020. Protecting the clean athletes means on the other hand zero tolerance against doping cheats and their entourage.

"In this context we have taken two important measure yesterday in the meeting of the IOC Executive Board. One the reason why we were calling this Executive Board meeting was the retest of samples from the Olympic Games of Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Actually this procedure started in August of last year when we gave a green light to the intelligence gathering around the world. That means to target the athletes and the sports that would have to be retested. You know that this intelligence regathering then resulted in the procedure that was initiated in March and comprised 454 selected doping samples.

"There are another 250 selected doping samples on the way from the Olympic Games London 2012. All this is part of our effort to protect the clean athletes. That means to keep dopers away from the Olympic Games and to protect the clean athletes and the integrity of the Olympic competition in Rio.

"The second part was about the development concerning the WADA accredited laboratory in Sochi. There we have asked WADA to perform a fully-fledged inquiry into all these allegations and even to go further whenever there are indications.

"WADA in the meantime has accepted to do this inquiry and I guess will start shortly. You know that the allegations are pretty detailed therefore very worrying, so we are now looking forward to this inquiry and to the results and we will keep in touch with WADA for the whole running of this inquiry.

"In order to make it a fully -fledged inquiry and to get to the bottom we have asked the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) to ensure the full cooperation in the WADA inquiry and we have received already today the confirmation of ROC that it will give its full cooperation and support for the investigation.

"Another important point is to get access to all the information available there you know that the IOC already in April 2015 established an integrity and compliance hotline. But in this case, as I have indicated we have asked WADA to perform the whole inquiry and to look into all the medals.

"Though I would like to call on all those who may have any information to come forward to WADA and to come forward "today" to enable WADA to come up with a result that shows the full picture and which then can make a judgement or to which degree these allegations are true.

"Whatever the result is of the inquiry we are waiting for the facts because this is what we need, a fair procedure for everybody and then there can be no doubt that the IOC will react to these results in a very clear way.

"Should the allegations be proven true then we will apply our zero tolerance policy not only with regard to the athletes but also with regard to everybody implicated within our reach. After the establishment of the facts we will react on those facts as part of our zero tolerance policy and part of our top priority the protection of the clean athletes," he explained.

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 **LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency. 

Keywords · Olympics · doping · IOC

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