Due to the Sochi Winter Games doping affair unveiled by the McLaren Investigation Report, which was released yesterday by the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), the International Olympic Commitee is thinking about banning the participation of all athletes from Russia in the Summer Olympic Games to be held in Rio this year.
The McLaren Report finds enough evidence on the fact that the Russian Federation Authorities have manipulated the doping control process during the 2014 Sochi Olympic and Paralympic Games. The manipulations included but were not limited to tampering with the samples within the WADA-accredited satellite laboratory in Sochi (Sochi laboratory) that was established for the Games.
On 18th May, WADA engaged Professor McLaren, as an Independent Person, to investigate allegations of Russian State manipulation of the doping control process, which were made by Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, former Director of the WADA-accredited laboratory in Moscow. The allegations were released by CBS 60 Minutes and The New York Times on 8th and 12th May respectively.
WADA considers that the mentioned independent investigation confirms Russian State manipulation of the doping control process and not only for the Sochi games. That’s why the Agency requested collective sanctions on Russian Athletes and delegates for Rio 2016 an beyond.
IOC will decide on the collective ban this week
The official communication published today by the IOC says: “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.”
The IOC will take a decission on the collective ban in next days, said in an official communicartion yesterday, after the Sports Arbitraion Court agreed to support the collective ban against the Russian Athletes to participate in Rio 2016, but the Commitee has already agreed on some measures.
First, the IOC decided to reverse the “presumption of innocence” of athletes from Russia with regard to doping. This means that the eligibility of each Russian athlete will have to be decided by his or her International Federation (IF) based on an individual analysis of his or her international anti-doping record.
Second, The IOC will not grant any accreditation to any official of the Russian Ministry of Sport or any person implicated in the Independent Person -IP- Report for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad Rio 2016.
Third, 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 McLaren report shows subversion in 30 sports, including 20 Olympic Summer sports and Paralympic sports with Russian National Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA); members of the Russian Olympic Committee; Russian Ministry of Sports, the Center of Sports Preparations of National Teams of Russia (CSP), the Russian Federal Research Center of Physical Culture and Sport (VNIIFK) and other Russian Government officials involved in the practices aimed to subvert the doping control system.
FIFA not removing Russia as host country for World Cup 2018
The sanctions demanded by WADA go far beyond the IOC and Rio 2016, as there’s evidence of a State enabled distorting system from 2011 on, according to the independent investigation.
The Report unveils as well the role that one of FIFA’s Executive Committee members, Russian Sport Minister Vitaly Mutko, played within the system. Accordingly, WADA “urges the FIFA Ethics Committee to look into the allegations concerning football and the role played by this member.”
Following the information published on www.goal.com, FIFA is not thinking about changing Russia as the host country of World Cup 2018, because of WADA report or IOC considerations.
An offficial spokesperson from FIFA underlined that the case was related only to Olympic sports and that all anti-doping tests for the World Cup will be carried out by WADA autorised laboratory may it be located in Russia or abroad.
Political reasons behind the collective ban claim, Putin says
Vladimir Putin (President of Russia) considers on his official communication on this matter published on 18th June that the call for a collective ban on the participation of the Russian athletes in Rio 2016 to ” a dangerous return to this policy of letting politics interfere with sport”.
He said that “…accusations against Russia’s athletes are based on information given by one single person, an individual with a notorious reputation. Criminal charges were opened against him in 2012 for violating anti-doping laws, but there was not enough evidence against him at that moment and the case was dropped”
On USADA (US Anti-Doping Agency) and other anti-doping agencies demand that “the entire Russian team be banned from taking part in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics”, Putin remarks: “one country’s national organisation is again trying to dictate its will to the entire world sports community.
The President of Russia assures: “The officials named in the commission’s report as directly involved will be temporarily removed from their posts until a full investigation is complete. But the President of Russia ask “the WADA commission to provide fuller and more objective fact-based information so that Russia’s law enforcement and investigative agencies can use it in their investigation.” “We can guarantee” he says “that their work will be seen through to its conclusion and that all subsequent measures will be taken in full to prevent violation of Russian law and ensure that our country fulfils its international obligations.
A whole State enabled procedure aimed to subvert the doping control system
WADA takes for proved by the report three facts. First, the Moscow laboratory operated, for the protection of doped Russian athletes, within a State-dictated failsafe system, described in the Report as the Disappearing Positive Methodology.
Second, The Sochi laboratory operated a unique sample swapping methodology to enable doped Russian athletes to compete at the Games.
Third, The Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athletes’ analytical results and sample swapping, with the active participation and assistance of the Federal Security Service (FSB); the Center of Sports Preparation of National Teams of Russia (CSP); and, both Moscow and Sochi laboratories.
“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,” said Sir Craig Reedie, President, WADA. “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,” Reedie continued. “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.” he said.
“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.” said Reedie.
“The Report corroborates evidence provided by Dr. Rodchenkov, which reveals to the world of sport an extent of deliberate abuse of power and process in Russia that is totally unacceptable for all athletes, the broader sports community and the nations against which they compete,” said Reedie.“It reveals that the Russian Ministry of Sport manipulated the doping control process of the 2014 Sochi Games; the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow; the 2013 World University Games in Kazan; and, put measures in place to circumvent anti-doping processes before the 2012 London Games,” he continued.“As the international Agency responsible for leading the collaborative, global, clean sport movement, WADA is calling on the Sports Movement to impose the strongest possible measures to protect clean sport for Rio 2016 and beyond.”
IOC, to review the current doping control system
Given the deficiencies in the system evidenced by the McLaren report, the IOC urges a full review of the anti-doping system. To do so, the Commitee has requested the WADA to convene an “Extraordinary World Conference on Doping” in 2017.
Besides, The Olympic Summit on 8th October 2016 will propose further measures in this respect. This will include proposals to clarify and increase transparency of the respective responsibilities in the fight against doping; the accreditation and supervision procedures of WADA accredited laboratories; and the WADA “International Standards for Laboratories” (ISL).
The IOC is reinforcing the request issued by the Olympic Summit on 17th October 2015 to make the entire anti-doping system independent from sports organisations.
The EB (Executive Board) has 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.
To accelerate this procedure, the IOC EB has established a Disciplinary Commission chaired by Guy Canivet (Vice-Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission and former member of the French Constitutional Court). The Commission will carry out the investigation of the facts unveiled by the report and hear all parts involved.
Image over the headline.- Rio 2016 olympic torch relay.© IOC.
Related external links:
Statement of the Executive Board of the IOC on the WADA independent person report
WADA statement on Russian State manipulation of the doping control process
Putin’s statement in response to the report by the World Anti-Doping Agency