POSTED: July 18th 2016
InDepth

Olympics: WADA calls for blanket ban on Russian athletes and government officials in wake of compelling evidence

In the hot seat is Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko who is also Chairman of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia © Getty Images
In the hot seat is Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko who is also Chairman of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia © Getty Images

Russia comes in second place racking up medals © Graphiq
Russia comes in second place racking up medals © Graphiq

Russia is at the top of the doping violations chart © Graphiq
Russia is at the top of the doping violations chart © Graphiq

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) issues a strong statement following the revealing of Richard McLaren's report to blanket ban Russian athletes and Russian government officials from international competitions including Rio 2016 summer Games.

WADA reaches out to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to consider, under their respective Charters, to decline entries, for Rio 2016, of all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee.

On that note, the world antidoping body also calls for any exceptional entry of a Russian athlete should be considered by the IOC and IPC for participation under a neutral flag and in accordance with very strict criteria.
 
And to drive the point home they issued a seven-point list for international sports federations:

1.       The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to consider, under their respective Charters, to decline entries, for Rio 2016, of all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee.

2.       The International Federations (IFs) from sports implicated in the McLaren Report to consider their responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) as far as their Russian National Federations (NFs) are concerned.

3.       Russian government officials to be denied access to international competitions, including Rio 2016.

4.       The Russian National Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to remain non-compliant under the Code and its staffing and independence to be further reviewed by WADA.

5.       The accreditation process of the WADA-accredited laboratory in Moscow (Moscow laboratory) to be stopped.

6.       The FIFA Ethics Committee to look into allegations concerning football and the role played by a member of its Executive Committee, Minister Vitaly Mutko.

7.       Professor McLaren and his team to complete their mandate provided WADA can secure the funding that would be required.

Sir Craig Reedie, WADA President, said, "WADA is grateful to Richard McLaren, his team, and other contributors that, together, helped provide us with a fact-based path forward today as it relates to allegations and other information provided by Dr. Rodchenkov. 

"Shamefully, the McLaren Report corroborates the allegations, exposing a modus operandi of serious manipulation of the doping control process in the satellite laboratory set up in Sochi for the 2014 Games; and, the Moscow laboratory since 2011 and after the Sochi Games.

"Not only does the evidence implicate the Russian Ministry of Sport in running a doping system that's sole aim was to subvert the doping control process, it also states that there was active participation and assistance of the Federal Security Service and the Center of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia.
 
"The Report also indicates the involvement of the Russian National Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA); and, shows that some of the key people involved, in particular the deputy sports minister, were members of the Russian Olympic Committee. Furthermore, the Investigation reveals that State oversight and directed control of the Moscow laboratory in processing and covering up urine samples of Russian athletes was applied to all sport disciplines whose urine samples were being analyzed by the Moscow laboratory," he said.

The WADA Executive Committee also took to task organizations that made public speculation as to the outcome of the report prior to the publication and the revealing of all the facts.

Olivier Niggli, WADA Director General, said, "Since WADA's Independent Commission report, senior Russian politicians have started to publicly acknowledge the existence of longstanding doping practices in Russia; and, have conceded that a significant culture change is required. 

"The McLaren Report makes it ever more clear that such culture change needs to be cascaded from the very top in order to deliver the necessary reform that clean sport needs," said Niggli.

Reedie added, "In the face of such evidence of state sponsored subversion of anti-doping processes, WADA insists upon imposition of the most serious consequences to protect clean athletes from the scourge of doping in sport.

"RUSADA remains non-compliant despite significant effort by WADA, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), independent experts and others," said Niggli. "Transforming Russia's anti-doping system and culture, to the point where it can be considered robust and trustworthy, will take more time and effort." 

Reedie confirmed, "The McLaren Report confirms that, at a minimum, RUSADA's return to compliance cannot be considered until all persons from the Russian Ministry of Sport and other Government Departments and Agencies that are implicated by the Report, including RUSADA, are dismissed from their roles."

The IOC Executive Board will discuss the situation tomorrow via teleconference as to the official reaction.

**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 · Russia · WADA


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