Ri­vals con­tinue to lobby for Russia ban

Vancouver Sun - - SPORTS - MARISSA PAYNE Wash­ing­ton Post

WASH­ING­TON, D.C. A day af­ter the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency dis­missed 95 cases of sus­pected Rus­sian dop­ing cit­ing lack of ev­i­dence, 16 na­tional anti-dop­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the United States Anti-Dop­ing Agency, de­manded Russia still be banned from next year’s Win­ter Olympics in Pyeong Chang, South Korea.

“A coun­try’s sport lead­ers and or­ga­ni­za­tions should not be given cre­den­tials to the Olympics when they in­ten­tion­ally vi­o­late the rules and rob clean ath­letes. This is es­pe­cially un­fair when ath­letes are pun­ished when they vi­o­late the rules,” the 16 or­ga­ni­za­tions, col­lec­tively called the Na­tional An­tiDop­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tion, said Thurs­day in a state­ment fol­low­ing two days of meet­ings in Colorado.

“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. ”

NADO, which con­sists of an­tidop­ing lead­ers from the United States, Aus­tria, Aus­tralia, Bri­tain, Canada, Den­mark, Fin­land, France, Ger­many, Ire­land, Ja­pan, the Nether­lands, New Zealand, Nor­way, Sin­ga­pore and Swe­den, said it sup­ported al­low­ing some Rus­sian ath­letes to com­pete un­der a neu­tral flag if they could be prop­erly cleared.

But the or­ga­ni­za­tion un­der­lined Russia as a whole should re­main banned un­til the find­ings of the McLaren re­port could be thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated by WADA. NADO lead­ers also said Russia shouldn’t be cleared to par­tic­i­pate un­less the coun­try ei­ther proved it could re­fute or took full re­spon­si­bil­ity for the re­port’s find­ings, which al­lege Russia ran a state-spon­sored dop­ing pro­gram for years.

In March, Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin con­tin­ued to deny the al­le­ga­tions, stat­ing on na­tional tele­vi­sion (via NBC News), “We never had, don’t have and I hope won’t have a state-spon­sored dop­ing pro­gram.”

Vladimir Putin

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