MONTREAL: The World Anti-Doping and its president Sir Craig Reedie have attsacked the IOC’s decision not to impose a blanket ban on Russia form next month’s Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Yesterday the executive board of the International Olympic Committee – of which Reedie is a vice-president – decided only that individual sport federations should be responsible for vetting Russian competitors.
Previously WADA, in the wake of the a report from Canadian law professor Richard McLaren Report into Russia’s state-led doping-and-cover-up system, had recommended that the IOC consider “declining entries for Rio 2016 of all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee.”
Reedie, because of his dual role, did not vote in the meeting of the executive board which reached its decision with 13 in favour of a devolved responsibility and one abstention, reportedly German Claudia Bokel, the president of the athletes’ commission.
However, in a statement issued by WADA, Reedie said: “WADA is disappointed that the IOC did not heed WADA’s Executive Committee recommendations that were based on the outcomes of the McLaren Investigation and would have ensured a straight-forward, strong and harmonised approach.
“The McLaren Report exposed, beyond a reasonable doubt, a state-run doping programme in Russia that seriously undermines the principles of clean sport embodied within the World Anti-Doping Code.”
Reedie’s comments were echoed by director-general Olivier Niggli who regretted the weakening of controls and protection for clean athletes.
Niggli said: “While WADA fully respects the IOC’s autonomy to make decisions under the Olympic Charter, the approach taken and the criteria set forward will inevitably lead to a lack of harmonisation, potential challenges and lesser protection for clean athletes.”
Similarly WADA was disturbed by the IOC’s betrayal of Russian whistleblower Yulia Stepanova who had refused the right of entry, under a neutral flag, to the Rio Games.
Niggli said: “WADA has been very vocal in supporting Yulia’s desire to compete as an independent athlete.
“Ms Stepanova was instrumental in courageously exposing the single biggest doping scandal of all time. WADA is very concerned by the message that this sends whistleblowers for the future.”
WADA has at least been able to agree to an IOC request to commission McLaren to continue his investigation.
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