Rus­sia faces ban calls af­ter damn­ing dop­ing rev­e­la­tions

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

There were grow­ing calls yes­ter­day for Rus­sia to be banned from the Win­ter Olympics and other ma­jor international events af­ter the lat­est star­tling rev­e­la­tions of state­spon­sored dop­ing across Rus­sian sport.

Richard McLaren de­scribed on Fri­day how Rus­sia “hi­jacked” sport by in­volv­ing more than 1,000 ath­letes in an “in­sti­tu­tional con­spir­acy” to win by mass dop­ing at the Sochi 2014 Win­ter and Lon­don 2012 Olympics and other global com­pe­ti­tions.

The Cana­dian lawyer, who de­tailed in a pre­vi­ous re­port how Rus­sian se­cu­rity ser­vices were in­volved in the ne­far­i­ous scheme, said in a sec­ond re­port for the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency (WADA) that at least 30 sports were im­pli­cated and that salt and in­stant cof­fee were used to ma­nip­u­late Rus­sian sam­ples. Rus­sia’s sports min­istry-said to be cen­tral to the ruse to cheat its way to suc­cess over sev­eral years-again de­nied state back­ing for dop­ing, say­ing that it “will con­tinue the fight against dop­ing with zero tol­er­ance”. Rus­sia’s track and field team was al­ready banned from international com­pe­ti­tion for dop­ing and was barred from the Rio Olympics in Au­gust, but there is now grow­ing pres­sure-not to men­tion anger-for more sanc­tions. The United States, Bri­tain and Ger­many all swiftly con­demned Rus­sia, while the International Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee, which banned Rus­sia com­pletely from the Rio Par­a­lympics in Septem­ber, called the McLaren find­ings “as­ton­ish­ing”. Liz Ni­choll, chief ex­ec­u­tive of UK Sport, which is tasked with help­ing Bri­tain to Olympic suc­cess, said that the International Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) should ex­clude all Rus­sian com­peti­tors from the Win­ter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.

“Ab­so­lutely. Un­til there’s ev­i­dence that Rus­sian ath­letes are com­pet­ing clean,” The Daily Tele­graph quoted her as say­ing. “All the ev­i­dence that we’ve got is that they’re not likely to be do­ing so. So, yes, I think the IOC should be tak­ing a very strong stance and should be ex­clud­ing Rus­sia un­til such time as they’ve put their house in order.” Cle­mens Prokop, pres­i­dent of the Ger­man ath­let­ics fed­er­a­tion (DLV), called for a to­tal ban on all Rus­sian com­peti­tors.

“Rus­sian sport should be ex­cluded from all international com­pe­ti­tions, in­clud­ing the Olympic Games, un­til its cred­i­bil­ity is restored,” said Prokop. “This is a fun­da­men­tal at­tack against the Olympic move­ment when the val­ues of the move­ment are dragged through the mud by a coun­try.” The IOC re­sponded to McLaren’s lat­est damn­ing re­port by an­nounc­ing it would re­anal­yse all 254 urine sam­ples taken from Rus­sian ath­letes at Sochi. The re­port, the IOC de­clared, showed that there “was a fun­da­men­tal at­tack on the in­tegrity of the Olympic Games and on sport in gen­eral”.

WORLD CUP QUES­TIONED

Sev­eral ma­jor international sport­ing events are on the cal­en­dar in the com­ing months, in­clud­ing the IAAF (ath­let­ics) World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don in Au­gust next year.

The Win­ter Olympics take place in Pyeongchang in Fe­bru­ary 2018 and Rus­sia is due to hold the foot­ball World Cup that sum­mer. McLaren iden­ti­fied dop­ing as be­ing rife in Rus­sian ath­let­ics and weightlift­ing, but his re­port found ev­i­dence of banned sub­stances be­ing used in foot­ball too.

“We didn’t re­ally have a chance to look at Rus­sian soc­cer across the board, to look at dif­fer­ent teams and what’s go­ing on,” McLaren told AFP af­ter pre­sent­ing his re­port find­ings in Lon­don. “I think there are 33 foot­ballers listed in the re­port. Not all of those are Rus­sian by the way-some are for­eign­ers.” That led Bri­tish MP Damian Collins to ques­tion whether Rus­sia was fit to host the 2018 World Cup.

“FIFA now have to look very se­ri­ously at the way in which the World Cup is go­ing to be staged,” Collins, of the Cul­ture, Me­dia and Sport Se­lect Com­mit­tee, told the BBC. “How can Rus­sia give con­fi­dence to FIFA and to the world that there will be proper anti-dop­ing mea­sures in place dur­ing the World Cup?” — AFP

LON­DON: World Anti-Dop­ing Agency in­ves­ti­ga­tor Richard McLaren speaks dur­ing a press con­fer­ence in Lon­don on Fri­day. A new re­port into sys­tem­atic Rus­sian dop­ing de­tails a wide-rang­ing “in­sti­tu­tional con­spir­acy” that in­volved more than 1,000 ath­letes across more than 30 sports, in­clud­ing ev­i­dence cor­rob­o­rat­ing large-scale sam­ple swap­ping at the 2014 Sochi Win­ter Olympics. — AP

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