International Olympic Committe backs tough stance over Russian doping manipulation as World Anti-Doping Agency decision looms

This will “ensure that full justice can finally be done, and that the guilty can be properly punished and the innocent fully protected,” the IOC said.

“In this way, the shadow of suspicion over the new generation of clean Russian athletes can be removed.”

The International Olympic Committee is backing tough punishments over doping data manipulation by Russia.Credit:Getty Images

WADA lifted RUSADA’s suspension on September 20, 2018, on condition that Russia hand over doping data and samples from 2012 to 2015.

But the data was later discovered to have “inconsistencies” indicating that it had likely been tampered with.

If the WADA leadership adopts the recommendation from its panel at a December 9 executive committee meeting, Russia faces fresh sanctions, including a four-year ban which would include next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

Russian athletes would likely to be be allowed to compete in Japan and the Beijing 2022 Winter Games as neutrals, something the IOC welcomed.

Other consequences would be cancelling events due to be hosted in the country. European soccer governing body UEFA declined to comment on a potential impact on St Petersburg hosting matches in Euro 2020.

But Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said he believed the Russia’s hosting of matches were not in danger.

Under the WADA code, the sanctions do not apply to continental soccer tournaments. Scotland and Wales had stood to benefit, the former having finished just below Russia in qualifying group I and the latter among the countries on standby to stage matches.


The omission of Euro 2020 from the list of events from which Russia faces a four-year ban for doctoring laboratory data linked to the scandal was condemned by campaigners, who branded proposals being considered WADA ‘‘another smoke-and-mirrors exercise’’.

WADA’s former deputy director general, Rob Koehler, denounced the CRC’s proposed sanctions as ‘‘another smoke-and-mirrors exercise, similar to what was done in Pyeongchang’’.

The head of campaign group Global Athlete, who quit WADA last year in protest over its decision to lift the previous ban imposed on RUSADA, added: ‘‘Russia needs to be banned from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Anything less will be seen as a weak response to one of the largest doping scandals of this century.’’

Since the discovery of a state-sponsored doping scandal in 2014, Russia has struggled for years with far-reaching allegations of performance-enhancing drug use.

But Russia’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, suggested that his country was being unfairly singled out.

Russia “will uphold the need” for an “equal review of the behaviour of every country in the international arena,” Lavrov said.

DPA; Telegraph, London

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