Doping row: WADA calls for a ban on Russian athletes

RSTV Bureau

putinThe World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has called for a complete ban on all Russian athletes and officials ahead of Rio Olympics, which begins on August 5.

WADA’s decision came after an investigation found rampant state-run doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and other events.

WADA’s executive committee said the IOC and the International Paralympics Committee should “decline entries, for Rio 2016, of all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee.”

WADA also called for Russia’s ban in other international games. Russian officials implicated in the scandal must be sacked and Russian government officials should to be denied access to international competitions, including Rio 2016, said WADA in a statement.

International Olympic Committee members will hold emergency talks later today to decide provisional sanctions over what IOC president Thomas Bach called “a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games.”

A probe by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren for WADA found the FSB secret service helped “the state-dictated failsafe system” carried out by the Russian sports ministry for as many as 30 sports.

McLaren’s report said the sports ministry under Vitaly Mutko organised the subterfuge under which tainted urine samples were replaced and kept away from international observers.

“The Moscow laboratory operated for the protection of doped Russian athletes within a state-dictated failsafe system,” McLaren stated.

“The Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athletes’ analytical results or sample swapping,” said the report.

According to McLaren the cover up started in 2010 after Russia’s “abysmal” results at the Vancouver Winter Olympics and continued until 2015 after the Sochi Games. It included the 2013 World Athletics Championships in Moscow and 2013 World University Games in Kazan.

Russia has strongly denied any state involvement in doping. The country is already banned from international athletics by world governing body IAAF because of doping exposed last year.

“The IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated,” Thomas Bach, IOC President said in a statement.

(With inputs from agencies)