Three ath­letes want their names cleared

New Straits Times - - Sport -

THREE Rus­sian cy­clists are su­ing the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency (WADA) and in­ves­ti­ga­tor Richard McLaren over their ex­clu­sion from the Rio 2016 Olympics, their coach said on Tues­day.

The road cy­clists were among the Rus­sians banned from com­pet­ing af­ter a WADA-com­mis­sioned re­port by Cana­dian lawyer McLaren, found ev­i­dence of wide­spread dop­ing and ma­nip­u­la­tion of dop­ing tests by Rus­sian ath­letes and of­fi­cials.

The cy­clists — Kir­ill Svesh­nikov, Dmitry Strakhov and Dmitry Sokolov — do not ap­pear in the McLaren re­port, which said that 26 pos­i­tive dop­ing tests by Rus­sian cy­clists had been cov­ered up.

How­ever, to be able to com­pete in Rio, Rus­sian ath­letes had to ful­fil a series of cri­te­ria de­fined by the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee.

The IOC also called on in­ter­na­tional sports fed­er­a­tions, which ul­ti­mately ruled on ath­letes’ par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Games, to ex­am­ine the McLaren re­port and “carry out an in­di­vid­ual anal­y­sis of each ath­lete’s anti-dop­ing record.”

The Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport (CAS) last year dis­missed the three cy­clists’ ap­peal against the ban.

“The main task is to prove that the guys are right, that they have never doped and that they were un­fairly banned from tak­ing part in the Olympic Games,” their coach Alexan­der Kuznetsov told Reuters, say­ing the law­suit’s ob­jec­tive was to “clear the ath­letes’ names.”

“We are con­vinced that the re­sult should be in our favour.”

In a let­ter to the In­ter­na­tional Cy­cling Union (UCI) in Au­gust last year, the IOC said the three cy­clists “do not meet the cri­te­ria set by the IOC Ex­ec­u­tive Board” to com­pete in Rio, ac­cord­ing to the CAS rul­ing on their case.

The IOC said that “no­body im­pli­cated” in the McLaren re­port could be ac­cepted for en­try or ac­cred­ited for the Games, among other cri­te­ria.

Kuznetsov said the law­suit was filed on Mon­day by Rus­sian lawyers work­ing in Canada, where WADA has its head­quar­ters, but could not con­firm to which court. “As this is a pend­ing case, we are un­able to com­ment at this time,” WADA spokes­woman Maggie Du­rand said. Reuters

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