LAUSANNE: The International Olympic Committee has been warned that another Games may be overshadowed by the possible suspension of Russia because of the long-running doping saga writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Thomas Bach, the IOC president, had hoped that the scandal would be history by now but the World Anti-Doping Agency has found numerous problems among data harvested from the Moscow laboratory which played a key role in the cover-up system in place between 2010 and 2014.
Yuri Ganus, head of Russian anti-doping body RUSADA, told the AFP agency: “Russia’s Olympic squad will be prevented from participating fully in the Olympic Games in Tokyo [and] I think that this will also happen at the (Winter Olympic) Games in China.”
He feared other penalties too, including restrictions on holding international tournaments in Russia, exclusion of Russians from international sports federations and fines.
In September, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) demanded Russia explain “inconsistencies” in electronic data it handed over which listed results of tests carried out under the laboratory’s previous leadership.
The data handover was supposed to demonstrate Russia’s desire for transparency after the scandalous revelations that RUSADA facilitated state-sponsored doping between 2011 and 2015.
Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov sent a letter of explanation to WADA about the data it queried on October 8. However Ganus admitted his concern that these explanations were likely to be insufficient.