MONTREAL, Canada – The integrity of the Olympics received one of the most devastating blows in its history on Monday after a state-sponsored doping regime was shown to have effectively sabotaged the Sochi 2014 Winter Games and left Russia’s place at Rio 2016 hanging by a thread.
At least 10 national anti-doping organizations – including those in the United States, Germany, Japan and Canada – have already grouped together to request a complete ban on Russian involvement at the Rio Games and the International Olympic Committee is likely to come under increased pressure to take action following the latest in a stream of revelations.
Monday’s report, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) and conducted by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, confirmed all of the shocking allegations made by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of Moscow’s Wada-accredited anti-doping laboratory, who spoke out earlier this year over his part in ensuring drugs cheats could prosper at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
WADA recommends to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to consider, under their respective Charters, to decline entries, for Rio 2016, of all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee. Furthermore, any exceptional entry of a Russian athlete should be considered by the IOC and IPC for participation under a neutral flag and in accordance with very strict criteria.
WADA also recommends that Russian Government officials be denied access to international competitions, including Rio 2016. [2.] The Investigation determined that a high number of Olympic sports, non-Olympic sports and Paralympic sports benefited from the system orchestrated by the Russian Ministry of Sport. The presumption of innocence from Russian athletes in these sports is therefore seriously called into question.
Accordingly, WADA recommends to International Federations (IFs) to consider their responsibilities under the World Anti-Doping Code as far as their Russian National Federations are concerned. (It is noted that a number of IFs have already taken steps under their rules in this regard.)