IOC Bans Russian Officials From Rio Olympics After Doping Reportby
Commission to rule on whether Russian athletes can go to games
IOC says it won’t organize or support any events in Russia
The International Olympic Committee said it won’t accredit any officials from the Russian Sports Ministry to attend the 2016 Olympics after a report exposed a state-backed doping program for athletes.
The IOC said Tuesday that it’s formed a commission to rule on whether Russian athletes should be allowed to participate in the games in Rio de Janeiro, which begin Aug. 5. The body “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,” it said in an e-mailed statement.
The IOC also won’t organize or support any sports event in Russia, and will conduct a full inquiry into all Russian athletes who participated in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. The provisional measures will be in place until Dec. 31, the Lausanne-based body said.
The IOC acted after an independent report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency concluded on Monday that the Russian Sports Ministry oversaw a vast program to manipulate doping test results from 2011 to 2015. The report found that there was a “systematic scheme” to hide positive test results and efforts by the Federal Security Service, Russia’s main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, to swap out athletes’ positive urine samples during the Sochi games.
President Vladimir Putin said in a statement on Monday that sport was being made a tool of “geopolitical pressure.” Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told RIA Novosti Monday that he suspended his deputy, Yuri Nagornykh, who was identified in the report as running the doping program.
The report said the methods were developed after Russian athletes won just three gold medals at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and finished in 11th place in the medal table, the country’s worst performance since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia took first place in the medal count in Sochi, winning 33 medals including 13 golds.
The IOC asked WADA to release the names of Russian athletes that were implicated in the report. It called on all international Olympic winter sports federations to freeze preparations for major events in Russia and said they should “actively look for alternative organizers.”