Russia doping: IOC exploring 'legal options' over possibility of blanket ban from Rio 2016 Olympics

The IOC is considering taking further action against Russia after the McLaren report was published on Monday

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 19 July 2016 15:21 BST
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The Russian Winter Olympic team at the Sochi 2014 opening ceremony
The Russian Winter Olympic team at the Sochi 2014 opening ceremony (Getty)

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Louise Thomas

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The International Olympic Committee have confirmed that they will explore “legal options” regarding a blanket ban on Russia from all competitions, including the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, but will not implement such a sanction immediately following the damning McLaren report that was released on Monday.

Despite the World Anti-Doping Agency [Wada] joining calls for all Russian athletes to be banned from Rio 2016, the IOC has said that it will await the Court of Arbitration for Sport [Cas] decision, due to come on Thursday, concerning Russia’s appeal against the IAAF’s ban on its track and field athletes before deciding against any action.

A number of other measurements were announced against Russia following the report of state-directed doping at Sochi 2014.

After a four-hour meeting, the IOC’s executive board decided that it “will not organise or give patronage to any sports event or meeting in Russia,” while all officials from the Russian Ministry of Sport have been banned from attending the Olympics this summer along with anyone else implicated in the McLaren report, which detailed a state-sponsored doping programme working out of the Sochi laboratory in the lead up to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The IOC has also confirmed that it has "started disciplinary actions related to the involvement of officials within the Russian Ministry of Sports and other persons mentioned in the report because of violations of the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code,” with Richard McLaren, publisher of the McLaren report that was commissioned by Wada, urging the IOC to name those involved in the alleged doping.

Richard McLaren on Russian investigation

The IOC has complied with McLaren’s request and has asked Wada to extend the mandate of the Canadian law professor to enable the names of those Russian athletes implicated in the “disappearing positive methodology” are communicated. The report detailed evidence of positive samples going missing from a Sochi laboratory as well as positive urine samples given by “protected” individuals being replaced with specimens from “clean” athletes before being analysed.

All Russian athletes who competed at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games – where not one positive test was recorded from the host nation – will be re-tested using the latest scientific technology available to Wada.

It has also been announced that a special Disciplinary Commission will be set-up in order to accelerate the procedures taken against Russia in order to determine any action that needs be taken against those within the Russian Ministry of Sports that are guilty.

The Disciplinary Commission will be compiled of Guy Canivet (Vice-Chair of the IOC Ethics Commission and former member of the French Constitutional Court), Robin Mitchell (Vice-Chair of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, Member of the IOC Ethics Commission), Yang Yang (Athletes’ representative on the IOC Ethics Commission), Andrew Ryan (Executive Director of ASOIF) and Wolfgang Schobersberger (Representative of the International Winter Sport Federations, Member of the FIS Medical Commission).

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