POSTED: June 23rd 2016
SpeakingUp

Olympics: Russia says IAAF decision is unfair, divergent and breaks the Olympic Charter!

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President and IOC member, Alexander Zhukov © Getty Images
Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President and IOC member, Alexander Zhukov © Getty Images

(L to R) Alexander Zhukov and Russian sports Minister Vitaly Mutko at the election of the new ARAF President in January this year © Getty Images
(L to R) Alexander Zhukov and Russian sports Minister Vitaly Mutko at the election of the new ARAF President in January this year © Getty Images

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The Russian Ministry of Sport and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) have come out fighting after the IOC Olympic Summit decision yesterday to back the IAAF suspension on Russian Athletics at Rio 2016.

The Russian Ministry of Sport issued the following statement: "We respect the statement made today by the International Olympic Committee and fully support its zero tolerance approach to doping. 

"We have long stated that individual athletes in Russia are willing to demonstrate their innocence and prove they are clean. Our Olympians are ready to go over and above all the normal anti-doping tests to show their commitment to clean and fair sport. For example, all track and field athletes had already agreed to undergo a minimum of three additional anti-doping controls carried out by the IAAF before the Olympic Games. 

"We look forward to working closely with the International Federations to determine how to assess eligibility."

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) President and member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Alexander Zhukov, added to the ministry's stance, "If they are not banned from the Rio Games, our track and field athletes will compete under the Russian Federation flag"

"The issue of collective and individual responsibility of athletes in case some of them are banned from the Olympic Games was inter alia discussed today at the IOC Olympic Summit.

"The point is that the Olympic sports International Federations are authorized to take the first decision on the eligibility of athletes for participation in the Olympic Games. That is why neither the IOC, nor the Olympic Summit, nor any other IOC structures can change, for example, a decision of the IAAF, articulated last Friday - they just accept it and respect it. But it leaves open the possibility to ask a number of questions on the essence of the taken decision and on the decision-making procedure...

"There are two countries, where the work of anti-doping services has been declared non-compliant with the World anti-doping code - it is Russia and Kenya.  The Olympic sports Federations of these 2 countries will grab the public attention as all the doping test samples should be collected by the independent doping officers from international anti-doping services.

"As for the ban for Russian track and field athletes to compete at the XXXI Olympic Games, our position is unchanged. We consider that the IAAF Council decision is unfair, divergent and breaks the Olympic Charter! Our clean athletes will challenge it in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) with the all-round support of the All-Russian athletics federation (ARAF) and the Russian Olympic Committee.

"If finally Russian track and field athletes are considered eligible for participation in the Summer Olympic Games 2016, they will compete under the Russian Federation flag. The IOC President Thomas Bach has confirmed it.

"As for extensively discussed in the media last week idea of banning all Russian team from the Rio Games, the current Summit has cleared up this situation - it is absolutely out of the question."

The next major step in the process will be WADA's revealing of the entire McLaren investigation report set to be sent to WADA President Sir Craig Reedie on July 15th going indepth into the allegations by former head of the Moscow laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov. As WADA explained reports from Rodchenkov claimed that Russia ran a state-directed manipulation of laboratory analytical results operating within the Moscow-accredited laboratory from at least 2011 forward including the period of the IAAF World Championships in 2013.  

The clock is ticking and we are now at 43 days until the opening of the Rio 2016 summer Games.

**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 · RIO 2016


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