Doping: Russia Escape IOC’s Blanket Ban | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Doping: Russia Escape IOC’s Blanket Ban

Posted: Jul 25, 2016 at 3:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Steve Oma-Ofozor

Lagos – Respite is on the way of Russia as the country will not receive a blanket ban for the Rio Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following their doping scandal.

The decision follows a report in which Canadian Law Professor, Richard McLaren, said that Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme from 2011 to 2015.

Against this backdrop, the IOC will leave it up to individual sports’ governing bodies to decide if Russian competitors are clean and should be allowed to take part.

In the same vein, competitors from Russia who want to take part in the Games will have to meet strict criteria laid down by the IOC.

Thus, any Russian athlete who has served a doping ban will not be eligible for next month’s Olympics.

According to IOC president Thomas Bach: “We have set the bar to the limit by establishing a number of very strict criteria which every Russian athlete will have to fulfill if he or she wants to participate in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

“I think in this way, we have balanced on the one hand, the desire and need for collective responsibility versus the right to individual justice of every individual athlete.”

It would be recalled that the World Anti Doping Agency (Wada) President, Sir Craig Reedie, has earlier said that his organisation, which commissioned the McLaren report, wanted the IOC to “decline entries for Rio 2016 of all athletes” submitted by the Russian Olympic and Paralympics committees.

The IOC also confirmed that it will not allow whistleblower, Yulia Stepanova, to compete as a neutral athlete in Rio.

Stepanova has previously failed a doping test and also did not satisfy the IOC’s “ethical requirements”.

The IOC statement added: “The executive board would like to express its appreciation for Mrs. Stepanova’s contribution to the fight against doping and to the integrity of sport.”