POSTED: July 20th 2016

Olympics: IOC cautiously looking at legal ramifications of banning Russia at Rio 2016

IOC President Thomas Bach © IOC/C.Moratal
IOC President Thomas Bach © IOC/C.Moratal

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has delayed their decision about banning Russia's participation at the Rio 2016 Games in order to examine what the legal ramifications could be and also to see what the Court of Arbitration (CAS) will decide about the IAAF ban on track and field athletes. The organization issued a detailed statement in the interim.

The statement read:  With regard to the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC will carefully evaluate the IP Report. It will explore the legal options with regard to a collective ban of all Russian athletes for the Olympic Games 2016 versus the right to individual justice. In this respect, the IOC will have to take the CAS decision on 21 July 2016 concerning the IAAF rules into consideration, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code and the Olympic Charter. 

IOC President Thomas Bach said, "The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games. Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organization implicated."

The EB started disciplinary actions related to the involvement of officials within the Russian Ministry of Sports and other persons mentioned in the report because of violations of the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code, according to Rule 59 of the Olympic Charter.

And to speed up this process of establishing facts and granting hearings the IOC set up a Disciplinary Commission and the members are: Guy Canivet (Chair) (Vice-Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission and former member of the French Constitutional Court), Robin Mitchell (Vice-Chair of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, Member of the IOC Ethics Commission), Yang Yang (Athletes' representative on the IOC Ethics Commission), Andrew Ryan (Executive Director of ASOIF), Wolfgang Schobersberger (Representative of the International Winter Sport Federations, Member of the FIS Medical Commission).

The IOC also laid down some provisional measures due to urgency that will be applied until the end of the year:

- The IOC will not organise or give patronage to any sports event or meeting in Russia. This includes plans for the European Games 2019 organised by the European Olympic Committees (EOC).

- The IOC will not grant any accreditation to any official of the Russian Ministry of Sport or any person implicated in the IP Report for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad Rio 2016.

- The IOC will initiate reanalysis, including forensic analysis, and a full inquiry into all Russian athletes who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and their coaches, officials and support staff. For this purpose, a specific Disciplinary Commission is set up under the chairmanship of Mr Denis Oswald. Following the report of this Commission, the IOC EB will impose all the appropriate sanctions.

- Because of the detailed references to the manipulation of samples during the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 the IOC asks all International Olympic Winter Sports Federations to freeze their preparations for major events in Russia, such as World Championships, World Cups or other major international competitions under their responsibility, and to actively look for alternative organisers. 

The IOC asks all IFs for a full inquiry and, in case of implication in infringements of the World Anti-Doping Code, sanctions against Russian National Federations by the respective IF. Such inquiries should be coordinated with the work of the IP, Mr Richard McLaren. 

The full IOC statement can be found here

**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

For more information contact:
Laura Walden ()

All original materials contained in this section are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Sports Features Communications, Inc the owner of that content. It is prohibited to alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.