Russian doping an attack on the Olympics- Bach


The logo of the Russian Olympic Committee is seen on its headquarters building in Moscow, ...
The logo of the Russian Olympic Committee is seen on its headquarters building in Moscow, Russia, July 20, 2016. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

IOC president Thomas Bach says the Russian state-sponsored doping system is “an attack on the Olympic Games”.

Following the McLaren report, individual sports’ governing bodies have been allowed to decide if Russian competitors should be allowed to compete in Rio, and Bach explained the reason for this is because it’s tough to punish individual athletes for the failures of their government.

“The McLaren report, his mandate as he explained and this is why he needs to continue, was to reveal a system and this he did. This he did in a really shocking way. If this system was applied like this, it’s an attack on everything that we want to represent.

“It’s an attack on the Olympic Games and it’s an attack on our values. What we have to decide then is much more difficult because we now have to decide what does this system mean for each and every individual. How far can you go to punish an individual for the failures or manipulation of your government?” the Olympics chief stated.

Bach added his organisation can’t sanction heads of state, despite Russia having been accused of running a state-sponsored doping programme.

Individual sports’ governing bodies have been allowed to decide if Russian competitors should be allowed to compete at the Olympics, and Bach explained the reason for this is because he’s waiting for the finalisation of the McLaren report, which will reveal further details on the scandal.

“We have seen the IP report by Mr McLaren which is about a system of the manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russia. What we have done and could do is to take the consequences with regard to the participation of Russian athletes here in Rio de Janeiro. The rest of the work has to follow. These are the allegations about the Sochi lab.

“These are the allegations that the Russian ministry of sport has orchestrated such a system. There we have taken preliminary measures as far as we could so that no official from this Russian ministry of sport, starting from the minister, can be accredited here at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. And now we expect the finalisation of the report of Mr McLaren.”

-Stepanova thanked-

Yuliya Stepanova was the whistle-blower who helped expose their cheating, but she’s not been allowed to participate at the Rio Games because of her drugs use in the past.

The German thanked Stepanova for her efforts though and said the Olympic charter was to blame for her absence.

The executive board has made it really clear that it appreciates the contribution of Yuliya Stepanova in the fight against doping.

“This is why we offered her assistance and support, which I think no other organisation so far has offered so that she can continue her career as an athlete, that she can make her living there, on the one hand, to encourage her to continue the athletics career, and on the other hand, to express our appreciation not only for her but in particular for her husband, who made a remarkable contribution already before her.”

Brazil has been plagued with economic problems in recent times, but Bach is sure the Games will be “full of passion” and he’s confident in the authorities in regards to security.

The opening ceremony for the Olympics take place on Friday, with the first of the action getting underway on Saturday.

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