IOC To Decide on Russia’s Participation at Pyeongchang in December

Caitlin Perry | | Industry NewsIndustry News
athletes winter olympics
Russian flag at the Olympics Photo: Matthias Schrader

The IOC has received calls from the worlds leading anti-doping agencies for Russia to be banned from competing in the Pyeongchang Games in February 2018.The outcry for Russia to be banned comes from agencies such as the US Anti-Doping Agency and UK Anti‑Doping. There is particular significance behind the outcry from the UK Anti-Doping agency as they took charge of Russia’s testing in early 2016.

In a joint statement the national anti-doping leaders said: “The IOC needs to stop kicking the can down the road and immediately issue meaningful consequences. The failure to expeditiously investigate individual Russian athlete doping poses a clear and present danger for clean athletes worldwide and at the 2018 Winter Games.

Two reports released from Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, reveal that Russia subverted the anti-doping system. The first released in July 2016 and the final report which was released in December 2016. Richard McLaren stated in these reports that more than 1,000 Russian athletes were involved in the state-sponsored doping between 2011 and 2015. They reportedly dodged the anti-doping system by swapping out urine samples through a hole in the wall. After the original report was released the International Olympic Committee responded by starting two commissions into this in July 2016.

The first which is chaired by Denis Oswald is examining individual cases of doping and the second one, led by Samuel Schmid, is examining the system. Following its Olympic Summit on Saturday the IOC released a statement stating that work on both commissions should be completed soon. They expect these commissions to be completed in time for the executive board to issue a decision at its December meeting in Lausanne.

In response to McLaren’s first report, the IOC created two commissions in July 2016. One, chaired by Denis Oswald, is tasked with examining individual cases of doping while the other, led by Samuel Schmid, is examining the system. The Oswald Commission is looking for evidence as to whether the samples were manipulated. To do this they are conducting a re-analysis of all samples from Russian athletes who competed at Sochi. This included reanalysis of 28 athletes names in the McLaren Report.

“In its statement, the Olympic Summit said Schmid Commission hearings “are ongoing” and that it will “produce its report within the next few weeks.”

Photo: Drug testing continues
The IOC released a letter stating that hearings for active athletes who could potentially compete in Pyeongchang will be completed by the end of November. Once these decisions have been announced then relevant disciplinary hearings will be conducted. At least 17 Anti-Doping organisations have called for Russia to be banned from Pyeongchang last month.

I believe the IOC is pursuing the findings of the McLaren Report, both in earnest and in good faith, and I believe the IOC when they say there will be consequences for the bad actors,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said before members of the U.S. Olympic community earlier this month. “But at some point, justice delayed is justice denied, and we are fast approaching that point.”

The IOC executive board meets Dec. 5-7.

Source: USA Today

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