Russia awaits IOC verdict on total Olympics ban
- Author: Joe Gonzales Jul 25, 2016,
Jul 25, 2016, 0:50
Russia will not face a blanket ban from the Rio Olympics after the International Olympic Committee announced it would be the responsibility of each sporting federation to check the doping records of Russian competitors under its jurisdiction.
"I think in this way, we have balanced on the one hand, the desire and need for collective responsibility versus the right to individual justice of every individual athlete", IOC President Thomas Bach said on a conference call.
The IOC decision follows the discovery of widespread state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Calls for a complete ban on Russian Federation intensified after Richard McLaren, a Canadian lawyer commissioned by WADA, issued a report Monday accusing Russia's sports ministry of overseeing a vast doping program of its Olympic athletes.
It found that urine samples of Russian athletes had been manipulated across the majority of summer and winter Olympic sports from 2011 through to August 2015.
Tygart had led calls for Olympic officials to ban all Russian athletes from competing in Rio.
But now there is the likelihood of some Russian athletes appearing in Rio, with an IOC statement released on Sunday afternoon following their executive board meeting confirming global federations will be tasked with the job of banning those who do not tick all the right boxes.
Although the IOC expressed gratitude for Stepanova's actions in its statement, it added that "the circumstances in which she denounced the doping practices which she had used herself...do not satisfy the ethical requirements for an athlete to enter the Olympic Games".
"Of course, the decision of the Executive Committee of the IOC is hard for us, while the Olympic Games 2016 are set to start so soon.... I have offered the help of the IAAF team to ASOIF [Association of Summer Olympic International Federations] and we continue to stand by to assist and offer advice to any international sports federations", Coe said in a statement.
Tygart fears the other 27 federations that govern sports in the summer programme will not have the time or resources to do what the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) spent months planning. The IOC said it would propose measures for more transparency and independence.
Responding to concerns about each worldwide federation's ability to process the claims of Russian athletes hoping to prove their innocence in time to compete at the Games, Bach indicated work had already begun prior to Sunday's announcement.
Short of a complete ban, the International Olympic Committee could let individual sports federations decide whether to allow Russian athletes in their events.
Two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva has welcomed the International Olympic Committee's decision to bar a renowned Russian doping whistleblower from competing at the games.
With Rio's opening ceremony less than two weeks away, the IOC's decision means each sport will have to make an "individual analysis" of every Russian competitor, which will then be subject to approval by an "independent arbitrator" from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Anti-doping leaders had argued that the extent of state-backed doping in Russian Federation had tainted the country's entire sports system, and the only way to ensure a level playing field was to bar the whole team, even if some innocent athletes will lose out. AP Sports Writers James Ellingworth and Rob Harris contributed.