With the 2016 Summer Olympics just 12 days away, the Russian athletes hoping to head to the Games found out on Sunday that they would not be barred from the event – as long as they stick to set of rules.
After a damning report found that Russian Olympians used performance-enhancing drugs at the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia, the World Anti-Doping Agency recommended that all Russian athletes entered to compete in the upcoming Games in Rio de Janeiro be barred from the event.
However, former WADA president Dick Pound said he fears that the International Olympic Committee won’t implement the ban.
“I do get the impression, reading between the lines, that the IOC is for some reason very reluctant to think about a total exclusion of the Russian team,” Pound told BBC Radio 4 Today.
“There may or there may not be [clean Russian Olympic athletes]. If you look at the McLaren report it’s pretty clear it was endemic,” he said. “It was a government-instituted program and every [doping] test was scanned to make sure that there might not be a positive – and if it happened to be a Russian athlete that positive test it disappeared and it was replaced by a negative test.”
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The report, published earlier this month, presented proof that athletes were given cocktails of performance enhancing drugs and positive urine samples were covered up in a state-run program carried out before, during and after the Sochi Olympics.
Amid the report, anti-doping officials immediately called for Rio-bound Russian athletes to be banned from the Games. Russia’s track and field team was banned from the Games last month by the sport’s governing body, according to the Times.
Reuters reports that a slew of senior sports officials have been suspended.
On Sunday, that they would not ban the entire team from the games, mostly citing time constraints and the inability to hold hearings for all athletes ahead of the event. However, they did state that Russian athletes will have to meet a series of requirements before they would be allowed to participate, mostly having to do with adhering to anti-doping measures.