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AFP
December 6, 2019

Bach wants clear lead from WADA on Russia’s Olympic status

Sports

AFP
December 6, 2019

LAUSANNE: Four days ahead of a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) meeting on Russia, Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, refused to “speculate” on the outcome but asked for a “clear” answer for events that might be affected.

If the WADA Executive Committee, meeting in Lausanne on December 9, approves the long list of measures recommended by its Compliance Review Committee (CRC), Russia would simply be banned from international sport, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

“I’m not in a position to speculate,” said Bach on Thursday after a three-day meeting of the IOC’s own Executive Board. “I don’t know the details of the decision WADA could take.”

“I hope that WADA will be clear on the events to which this decision will refer and why it applies or not. This is in the hands of WADA and in particular the CRC,” Bach added, making clear the decision would be binding on the IOC as “a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code”.

The CRC recommendation followed what WADA investigators described as “an extremely serious” case of non-compliance “with several aggravating features.”

The proposed four-year ban comes after WADA examined data from Russia’s doping-tainted Moscow laboratory, which was handed over to WADA in January.

Full disclosure of data from the Moscow lab was a key condition of Russia’s controversial reinstatement by WADA in September 2018.

The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) had been suspended for nearly three years previously over revelations of a vast state-supported doping program.

WADA said in its statement on November 25 the data handed over was rife with problems, describing it as “neither complete nor fully authentic.”

It said hundreds of adverse analytical findings had been removed while underlying raw data and PDF files had been deleted.

WADA also said someone in a Moscow laboratory had planted fabricated messages into a key database.

As well as a ban from all sporting competition, the CRC had recommended Russia be forbidden from hosting or bidding for any major event.

Russian government officials would also be barred from attending any major events.

Individual Russian athletes may still compete in events such as the Olympics, but only if they are able to prove they are not implicated in the broader doping scandal.