SONJA NIKCEVIC, AIPS* in LAUSANNE: Olympic bosses have called a ‘summit’ to consider the current anti-doping crisis but it will not take place until October, a safe two months after the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Before then, however, frenzied debate is likely at a June 21 meeting in Lausanne to consider the thorny issue of eligibility for Rio.
Most notably this will assess whatever decision has been made four days earlier by the IAAF council in Vienna over whether Russian track and field athletes should be readmitted to competition.
This is where the dilemma outlined by IOC president Thomas Bach between “collective responsibility and individual justice” will be put to the test.
He has refused to speculate on whether entire nations could be banned over mass doping failures.
Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva has threatened to protest to the Court of Arbitration of Sport if Russian athletes are banned from the Rio Games in their entirety.
After resounding criticism over insufficient funds for anti-doping programmes, the IOC’s executive board has approved doubling the budget for pre-Olympic testing, bringing the the sum to $500,000 dollars.
IOC spokesman Mark Adams confirmed that “special focus” within the budget will be put on nations with anti-doping programs that had been previously declared non-compliant, including Kenya, Russia and Mexico.
An added focus will also be put on ‘problem sports’ as assessed by WADA and the IOC. These include boxing after reports that governing body AIBA had not carried out any out-of-competition doping tests in the year ahead of Rio and hardly any in the past three years.
** AIPS is the international sports journalists’ association with 10,000 members worldwide. More information: www.AIPSmedia.com
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