Team Rus­sia must be ex­pelled, says U.S.

An­tidop­ing chief wants harsh penalty

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - ED­DIE PELLS State man­date con­tin­ues // S3

The leader of the U.S. an­tidop­ing ef­fort says noth­ing short of re­mov­ing the Rus­sian flag from this sum­mer’s Olympics would suf­fice if an up­com­ing re­port about Rus­sian dop­ing is as damn­ing as ex­pected.

The re­port, due to be made pub­lic on Mon­day, is ex­pected to in­clude de­tails about the coun­try’s sports min­istry telling its drugtest­ing of­fi­cials which pos­i­tive tests to re­port and which to con­ceal.

If those de­tails do show up in the re­port, Travis Ty­gart, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the U.S. Anti-Dop­ing Agency, told The As­so­ci­ated Press he would sup­port the same sort of ac­tion for all Rus­sian sports that track and field’s gov­ern­ing body, the International As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF), took re­gard­ing the coun­try’s track team: It barred the team but gave a small num­ber of ath­letes who could prove they were clean a chance to com­pete un­der a neu­tral flag.

“If it’s proven true, and there’s been in­ten­tional sub­ver­sion of the sys­tem by the Rus­sian gov­ern­ment ... the only out­come is they can’t par­tic­i­pate in th­ese Olympic Games un­der that coun­try’s flag,” Ty­gart said.

The World Anti-Dop­ing Agency (WADA) com­mis­sioned an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, be­ing headed by Richard McLaren, into Rus­sian dop­ing fol­low­ing a New York Times story in May that de­tailed a state-run sys­tem that helped ath­letes get away with cheat­ing and win medals at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. The McLaren re­port is due Fri­day, with pub­lic re­lease set for next Mon­day.

An ear­lier in­ves­ti­ga­tion, headed by for­mer WADA chair Dick Pound of Canada, looked into Rus­sian dop­ing inside the track team; the McLaren in­ves­ti­ga­tion is ex­pected to delve into all sports.

In June, based on in­for­ma­tion from Pound’s re­port and its own fol­lowup, the IAAF barred Rus­sia’s track team from com­pet­ing in the Olympics af­ter de­cid­ing it had not moved ag­gres­sively enough on wide­spread re­forms.

In an­nounc­ing the decision, the IAAF is­sued a re­port that in­cluded pre­lim­i­nary find­ings from McLaren stat­ing ev­i­dence showed a “manda­tory state-di­rected ma­nip­u­la­tion of lab­o­ra­tory an­a­lyt­i­cal re­sults op­er­at­ing within” the Moscow an­tidop­ing lab from at least 2011 through the sum­mer of 2013.

The pre­lim­i­nary find­ings also said Rus­sia’s “Min­istry of Sport ad­vised the lab­o­ra­tory which of its ad­verse find­ings it could re­port to WADA, and which it had to cover up.”

If those pre­lim­i­nary find­ings show up in the full re­port, and turn out to be just the tip of the ice­berg, it would rep­re­sent “an un­prece­dented level of crim­i­nal­ity,” Ty­gart said.

Ty­gart pre­viewed the find­ings to lead­ers of USA Track and Field at a meet­ing dur­ing Olympic tri­als last week­end. There, Ty­gart said, “what we see now is what hap­pened in East Ger­many” in the 1970s and 1980s, when dop­ing in the Eastern Bloc went vir­tu­ally unchecked.

He told USATF lead­ers: “You have to send a mes­sage to states that cor­rupt the Games. I don’t want to pre­judge the re­port but in­di­ca­tions are that that’s what’s go­ing to be in there.”

USADA chair Ed­win Moses, the gold-medal-win­ning and world-record-set­ting hur­dler from the 1970s and 1980s, re­it­er­ated that point to the USATF.

“If an ath­lete is go­ing to get sanc­tioned for two, four, eight years, then cer­tainly the same should hap­pen for any fed­er­a­tion or agency or ad­min­is­tra­tors who are in­volved,” he said.

Shortly af­ter the Times re­port came out, International Olympic Com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Thomas Bach wrote an op-ed piece in USA To­day say­ing that, if al­le­ga­tions in the Times story were true, the IOC would “re­act with its record of proven zero-tol­er­ance pol­icy, not only with re­gard to in­di­vid­ual ath­letes, but to all their en­tourage within its reach. Should there be ev­i­dence of an or­ga­nized sys­tem con­tam­i­nat­ing other sports, the international fed­er­a­tions and the IOC would have to make the dif­fi­cult decision be­tween col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity and in­di­vid­ual jus­tice,” Bach wrote.

On July 21, the Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport will rule on the el­i­gi­bil­ity of 68 Rus­sian track ath­letes who claim they should be able to com­pete de­spite the IAAF ban. Still un­de­cided is whether the IOC will al­low cleared Rus­sian ath­letes to com­pete as neu­tral, or un­der the Rus­sian flag. If the McLaren re­port is as damn­ing as ex­pected, the IOC and international lead­ers in the 27 other Sum­mer Olympic sports will have to come up with plans on sim­i­lar is­sues on a lim­ited time frame: Fri­day marks the three-week count­down to Rio.

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