Russia involvement at Rio Olympics in doubt

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TORONTO — The world’s leading antidoping officials on Monday called for Russia to be barred from this summer’s Rio Games after a damning report confirmed a Russian whistle-blower’s claims of government-ordered cheating at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

The IOC is considering “a collective ban” on all Russian competitors for the global showpiece, which begins in the Brazilian capital on August 5.

An emergency IOC Executive Board meeting in Switzerland was called after the publication on Monday of an independent WADA report, led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, detailed a systematic and state-run doping programme in Russia.

The report found that Russian sports ministry officials controlled a cynical scheme to cheat at numerous sporting events, including the London 2012 Olympics and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

The IOC said 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.”

The IOC have planned to take into consideration the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision on Russia’s appeal against the IAAF’s ban of the Russian track and field team.

That appeal started yesterday, and a decision is expected tomorrow.

The IOC executive board also agreed a series of provisional measures, to be reviewed at its meeting in December 2016.

The Executive Board has begun disciplinary action related to the involvement of officials within the Russian Ministry of Sports and other persons mentioned in the McLaren report, because of violations of the Olympic Charter and the World Anti-Doping Code.

No member of the Russian Ministry for Sport implicated in the report will be accredited for the Rio Olympics.

Fifa have promised to take “appropriate measures” against Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko if it is satisfied he was personally involved in the country’s doping scandal.

The IOC will not organise or give patronage to any sports event in Russia, including the planned 2019 European Games, which had been mooted for Sochi or Kazan.

All Olympics winter sports federations have been told to halt preparations for any international events in Russia.

The IOC will begin a full enquiry into all Russian athletes at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, including forensic analysis.

Meanwhile, Russian runner Liliya Shobukhova has been ordered by a British High Court ruling to repay almost £378,000 to the organisers of the London Marathon after being banned for doping.

Shobukhova was paid the money in appearance fees and prize money for the races in 2010 – which she won – and 2011, where she was second.

She was subsequently banned for three years and two months after abnormalities were detected in her biological passport, although the ban was later reduced by seven months and ended last August.

Meanwhile, Kenenisa Bekele, the 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder, has been left out of Ethiopia’s athletics squad for the Olympic Games in Rio.

The triple Olympic gold medal winner failed to make the team in both the marathon and the 10,000 metres.

Bekele had appealed a decision to leave him out of the marathon team due to a lack of race time, while his hopes of running the 10,000m in Rio were effectively dashed when he failed to finish a race in Hengelo, which doubled up as an Olympic trial.

Bekele, who won gold in the 10,000 metres at the Athens Olympics in 2004, and in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres in Beijing four years later, was left out of the marathon team having not run enough big races over the past year.

From : Express.co.uk

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