IOC: Ev­i­dence found in Sochi drugs probe to charge ath­letes

Iran Daily - - Sports -

A first batch of ath­letes sus­pected of hav­ing been part of a Rus­sian dop­ing ring at the Sochi 2014 Win­ter Games may soon be charged by the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC), the head of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion said on Fri­day.

IOC mem­ber De­nis Oswald said ev­i­dence gath­ered so far will be com­bined with re­sults of tests to de­ter­mine whether urine and blood sam­ple bot­tles had been tam­pered with, to re­place pos­i­tive sam­ples with clean sam­ples, Reuter re­ported.

“We feel we have found a num­ber of el­e­ments to charge a cer­tain num­ber of ath­letes,” Oswald told IOC mem­bers at the body’s ses­sion meet­ing in Lima.

“In a few days we will have the re­sults of the first batch of 50 bot­tles (de­ter­min­ing whether or not they had been tam­pered with) and then we can pro­ceed.”

Swiss Oswald, who did not say how many ath­letes could be in­volved, said the first hear­ings would start in Oc­to­ber. He added that his com­mis­sion could only ban ath­letes from the Olympics and not im­pose other sanc­tions.

“We can only dis­qual­ify ath­letes. We have been work­ing closely with win­ter sports fed­er­a­tions and they will be ready as soon as we have made our de­ci­sion to go on with their own pro­ce­dure.”

Grig­ory Rod­chenkov, the for­mer head of Moscow’s dis­cred­ited anti-dop­ing lab­o­ra­tory, iden­ti­fied in a 2015 World Anti-dop­ing Agency (WADA) re­port as an ‘aider and abet­tor of the dop­ing ac­tiv­i­ties’, re­vealed a scheme for cov­er­ing up Rus­sian com­peti­tors’ pos­i­tive drug sam­ples at the 2014 Win­ter Olympics. This trig­gered a num­ber of in­ves­ti­ga­tions, in­clud­ing Oswald’s on be­half of the IOC, to de­ter­mine whether Rus­sia had ma­nip­u­lated their ath­letes’ sam­ples at those Olympics three years ago.

The par­tic­i­pa­tion of Rus­sian ath­letes at next Fe­bru­ary’s Pyeongchang Win­ter Olympics de­pends on the re­sults of the Oswald re­port, which he said would be com­pleted be­fore the end of the year.

“The WADA board meet­ing in Seoul in Novem­ber could rec­om­mend that RUSADA be­comes com­pli­ant,” he said, crit­i­ciz­ing a group of the world’s lead­ing na­tional an­tidop­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions (NADOS) who this week called for Rus­sia to be ex­cluded from Pyeongchang.

MARK HUMPHREY/AP

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