De­spite dop­ing scan­dals, Rus­sia could bid for 2028 Olympics

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Still mired in a dop­ing scan­dal and with a track team banned from in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, the pres­i­dent of the Rus­sian Olympic Com­mit­tee said his coun­try may put forth a bid to host the 2028 Games.

Alexan­der Zhukov said Fri­day that Rus­sia is con­sid­er­ing three cities as can­di­dates for a 2028 bid, even as it bat­tles ac­cu­sa­tions of a mass dop­ing cover-up at the Sochi Olympics three years ago.

“It’s hard to say now, but why not? I think it’s com­pletely pos­si­ble to try,” Zhukov told state news agency RIA Novosti. “It’s not just St. Peters­burg, we also have Kazan which is a pos­si­bil­ity. It’s also pos­si­ble in Sochi.”

Bid­ding for the 2024 Games is still un­der way, with a vote in Septem­ber set to choose be­tween Los An­ge­les, Paris and Bu­dapest. The 2028 host is ex­pected to be de­cided in 2021.

Rus­sia hosted the 2014 Win­ter Olympics in Sochi, spend­ing about $51 bil­lion on the games, but is un­der in­tense pres­sure fol­low­ing ac­cu­sa­tions of a mas­sive dop­ing cover-up at the games. World Anti-Dop­ing Agency in­ves­ti­ga­tor Richard McLaren has said there is ev­i­dence that dop­ing test sam­ples given by 12 Rus­sian medal win­ners at the games were tam­pered with.

The dop­ing scan­dals also heav­ily de­pleted Rus­sia’s team for last year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Ev­i­dence of wide­spread dop­ing meant the en­tire Rus­sian weightlift­ing team was banned and only one of the 68-strong track and field team was al­lowed to com­pete.

Fol­low­ing McLaren’s re­port last month, a group of 19 na­tional anti-dop­ing agen­cies on Tues­day called for Rus­sian teams to be banned from all in­ter­na­tional sports com­pe­ti­tions and for the coun­try to be stripped of host­ing ma­jor events, in­clud­ing the 2018 World Cup. Na­tional anti-dop­ing agen­cies, how­ever, do not have the pow­ers to im­pose such sanc­tions.

Zhukov said the anti-dop­ing agen­cies were “cre­at­ing a cer­tain back­drop, putting pres­sure on the fed­er­a­tions.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.