IOC will take legal advice on banning Russia from Olympics

By iSportconnect | July 19, 2016

The IOC will take legal advice into banning Russia from the 2016 Olympic Games, in the aftermath of the McLaren report.

In a press release the IOC said:

“With regard to the participation of Russian athletes in the Olympic Games Rio 2016, the IOC will carefully evaluate the IP [McLaren] Report. It will explore the legal options with regard to a collective ban of all Russian athletes for the Olympic Games 2016 versus the right to individual justice. In this respect, the IOC will have to take the CAS decision on 21 July 2016 concerning the IAAF rules into consideration, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code and the Olympic Charter.”

The CAS case it refers to, is an on-going appeal by the Russians against a blanket ban enforced on their athletics team. If CAS overturns that ban, it seems unlikely Russia will be banned from the Games, as the same issue will be at the heart of it – whether athletes who have never tested positive for doping should be held responsible for the failings of their country. 

In the meantime though the IOC did take several steps against Russia, including:

– Establishing a disciplinary commission to punish those implicated in the McLaren report

– The IOC will not organise or give patronage to any sports event or meeting in Russia.

– The IOC will not grant any accreditation to any official of the Russian Ministry of Sport for the Rio Games

– The IOC will initiate reanalysis, including forensic analysis, and begin a full inquiry into all Russian athletes who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 and their coaches, officials and support staff

– The IOC asks all International Olympic Winter Sports Federations to freeze their preparations for major events in Russia, such as World Championships, World Cups or other major international competitions under their responsibility, and to actively look for alternative organisers.

– The IOC asks all IFs for a full inquiry and, in case of implication in infringements of the World Anti-Doping Code, sanctions against Russian National Federations by the respective IF. Such inquiries should be coordinated with the work of Mr Richard McLaren.

This appears to be everything shy of the IOC’s ‘nuclear option’ of banning all Russian athletes from the Olympics.

The McLaren report outlined extensive, state sponsored, cheating by the Russians from 2012 to 2015.

As many as 580 positives doping samples were removed from the system and hidden by various elements of the Russian government.