• Today
    December 17

  • 11:11 PM

Russia banned from Pyeongchang Winter Olympics

REUTERS,

Added 06 December 2017

russia-banned-from-olympics-120617

Samuel Schmid, Chair of the IOC Disciplinary Commission, and Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, attend a news conference after an Executive Board meeting on sanctions for Russian athletes, in Lausanne, Switzerland, December 5, 2017. (Reuters)

LAUSANNE – Russia has been banned from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics after the IOC found evidence of an “unprecedented systematic manipulation” of the anti-doping system that has led to a series of bans for the country’s athletes in recent months. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) did not impose a blanket ban on Russia ahead of the Rio 2016 Summer Games but said on Tuesday that the evidence unearthed by the Schmid Commission made the doping situation impossible to dispute.

It therefore suspended Russia, which finished top of the medals table at its own 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, from next year’s Games in South Korea that run from February 9-25

However, in a bid to protect “innocent athletes” the door has been left open for Russians to compete as an “Olympic Athlete of Russia”, as long as they satisfy strict conditions that show they have a doping-free background.

The IOC also decided to suspend Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) president Alexander Zhukov as an IOC member, while Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, sports minister at the time of the Sochi Games, was also banned from any future participation at the Olympics. 

Former Switzerland President Samuel Schmid told a news conference that his report confirmed “the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping rules and system in Russia.

The results are not based only on testimony by Russia’s former anti-doping chief-turned-whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov. There is also scientific evidence, witness statements documents and correspondence.

“The facts are that in Russia there was systemic manipulation of doping and the anti-doping system . . . that also took place at Sochi 2014,” added Schmid.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “Today we gave the Russian delegation the opportunity to express themselves. In this meeting this afternoon the president of ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) has apologised.

“As a former athlete I am feeling very sorry for all the clean athletes who are suffering from this manipulation . . . but because we are allowing clean athletes to participate they can set about building a bridge for the future (rather) than erecting a new wall between Russia and the Olympic movement.”

Zhukov described the IOC decision as contradictory. “There are positive and negative sides,” he said. “The IOC has allowed all clean athletes in all sports.”

Other Russians were more forthright, with Alexei Kravtsov, president of the Russian Skating Union, saying: “The decision is offensive, insulting and completely unjustified.

“I consider that this decision will deal a great blow to the whole Olympic movement.” 

Alexei Kurashov, president of the Russian freestyle federation, added: “The Olympic movement has discredited itself and there will be fundamental consequences to this.

“These are not the principles of Olympism. I can’t say that the activities of the IOC are honest.” 

The IOC’s decision comes 18 months after it decided not to impose an outright ban on Russian athletes ahead of Rio and told international sports federations to decide individually on the participation of Russians at the Olympics in Brazil.

While all of Russia’s track and field athletes bar one and the weightlifting team were banned from Rio, about 70 per cent of Russia’s original 387-strong squad took part at those Games.

Bach said on Tuesday, however, that the situation was different now. 

“(Ahead of Rio) there was no opportunity to hear the Russian side and at the time of Rio it was mainly about the failure in the Moscow lab. Now it’s about the manipulation of an Olympic lab. The conditions then and now are totally different.”

The Schmid report said the IOC had “not found any documented, independent and impartial evidence confirming the support or the knowledge of this (anti-doping manipulation) system by the highest State authority” after Richard McLaren’s independent report for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) had said the Russian government and secret service were involved. 

McLaren’s report in 2016 found more than 1 000 Russian competitors in over 30 sports had been involved in a conspiracy to conceal positive drug tests over a five-year period. (Reuters)

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Dos and Donts


Welcome to our discussion forum here on nationnews.com. We encourage lively debate, but we also urge you to take note of the following:

  • Stay on topic – This helps keep the thread focused on the discussion at hand. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
  • Be respectful – Meeting differences of opinion with civil discussion encourages multiple perspectives and a positive commenting environment.
  • Do not type in capitals – In addition to being considered “shouting” it is also difficult to read.
  • All comments will be moderated – Given the volume of comments each day, this may take some time. So please be patient.
  • We reserve the right to remove comments – Comments that we find to be abusive, spam, libellous, hateful, off-topic or harassing may be removed.
  • Reproduction of comments – Some of your comments may be reproduced on the website or in our daily newspapers. We will use the handle, not your email address.
  • Do not advertise – Please contact our Advertising Department.
  • Contact our Online Editor if you have questions or concerns.
  • Read our full Commenting Policy and Terms of Use.
comments powered by Disqus

VIDEO

BLOGS

KRYSTLE CLEAR img
THE LONG VIEW img
INSIDE EDITORIAL img
What's Trending img
MONEY MATTERS img
Toni-Ann Johnson img

FRONT COVER OF TODAY'S NEWSPAPER

CARTOON

POLL

Are you cutting back on how much you spend this Christmas?

Yes
No
Not sure yet

INSTAGRAM