MOSCOW: The International Olympic Committee’s decision to restore Russia to full membership will never resolve the row over the doping scandal writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
IOC president Thomas Bach wasted no time bringing Russia back into the fold after the Winter Games in PyeongChang at which Russian competitors had to compete under an undisguised ‘neutral’ banner.
Russia Olympic committee president Alexander Zhukov took immediate advantage by stating that the country would now never “recognise” the report for the World Anti-Doping Agency presented by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren and which laid bare the allegations of an institutionalised doping and cover-up system.
Initially McLaren had referred to a state-led system but he later toned down his language.
Zhukov capitalised on Russia’s restoration to the Olympic movement, according to the TASS news agency, by saying: “The road-map for the restoration of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency has been practically completed, with the exception of two points.
“The first of them is the recognition of the conclusions of the McLaren Report, which cannot happen, because it claims that there was a system of doping supported by the state in Russia, which is not so.
“The report of the IOC Commission under the leadership of Samuel Schmid directly says that such a system did not exist.
“Therefore, there is a contradiction that, within the framework of negotiations with WADA, must be eliminated.
“WADA insists on recognising what was not.”