Rus­sia says no plan to boy­cott Olympics af­ter dop­ing scan­dal

Tehran Times - - WORLD SPORTS -

Rus­sia has no plan to boy­cott the 2018 Pyeongchang Win­ter Olympics if the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) im­poses re­stric­tions on the coun­try’s par­tic­i­pa­tion over al­leged state-spon­sored dop­ing, the Krem­lin said on Mon­day.

The IOC is set to de­cide on Tues­day on Rus­sia’s par­tic­i­pa­tion as more than 20 Rus­sian ath­letes have been banned from the Olympics for life over dop­ing vi­o­la­tions at the 2014 Sochi Games.

“No, it’s not be­ing dis­cussed,” Krem­lin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of a pos­si­ble Rus­sian boy­cott in a con­fer­ence call with re­porters.

“We are against the in­fringe­ment of our ath­letes’ rights, the un­jus­ti­fi­able in­fringe­ment of rights. But at the same time Rus­sia re­mains com­mit­ted to the ideals of Olymp­ism.”

Peskov added that Rus­sia’s de­ci­sion not to boy­cott was made by Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and was aimed at “pre­serv­ing all pos­si­ble chan­nels of co­op­er­a­tion and di­a­logue with the IOC, as well as with other in­ter­na­tional sports or­gan­i­sa­tions”.

The IOC has been re-test­ing all Rus­sian ath­letes’ sam­ples from the 2014 Games fol­low­ing dis­clo­sures by Grig­ory Rod­chenkov, the former head of Moscow’s sus­pended anti-dop­ing lab­o­ra­tory, of a scheme to cover up home com­peti­tors’ pos­i­tive sam­ples.

The bans on Rus­sian ath­letes came as a re­sult of an IOC in­ves­ti­ga­tion into wide­spread dop­ing by Rus­sian ath­letes and sam­ple-tam­per­ing by lab­o­ra­tory and se­cu­rity of­fi­cials at the Sochi Games. Rus­sian sports au­thor­i­ties have vowed to appeal against the sus­pen­sions.

De­spite re­peated calls for co­op­er­a­tion with in­ter­na­tional bod­ies to help rid Rus­sia of dop­ing, the au­thor­i­ties have never ac­knowl­edged the state’s role in the scan­dal.

Rus­sia’s Par­a­lympic Com­mit­tee, ath­let­ics fed­er­a­tion and anti-dop­ing agency RUSADA re­main sus­pended over dop­ing is­sues.

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