Anti-doping agencies want ban on entire Russian delegation at 2016 Rio Olympics

By @vitthernandez on
Russian Delegation
Russian athletes participate in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games in the Olympic Stadium August 29, 2012. Reuters/Olivia Harris

The 2012 London Games ushered in an era of tougher anti-doping tests which is apparently being implemented also in the 2016 Rio Games. But a proposed ban on all Russian athletes by several anti-doping agencies could be based on an upcoming report on allegations of state-back doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.

Reuters reports that a leaked draft letter addressed to the International Olympics Committee (IOC), to be sent once the report, led by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren, into Sochi doping is presented on Monday, would call for the total ban on all Russian athletes. So far, the International Association of Athletics’ Federations have banned the entire Russian track and field team from joining the Rio Summer on Aug 5-22 due to widespread doping.

Paul Melia, CEO of Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports, and Travis Tygart, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, have signed the draft letter that states, “The only appropriate, and permissible, course of action is these unprecedented circumstances is for the IOC to suspend the Russian Olympic and Paralympic Committees from the Olympic Movement … and declare that no athlete can represent Russia at the Rio Olympic Games.”

Melia says other anti-doping agencies are supporting their draft letter. He adds if the McLaren report comes out with clear and convincing evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russian sport, various athletes committees and anti-doping organisations are prepared to dare the IOC to ban the Russian Olympic Committee from the Rio Games.

Meanwhile, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is scheduled to release its decision on Thursday the petition by the All-Russian Athletics Federation for the CAS to overturn the ban on Russia’s track and field team which has already been prohibited from attending the summer games. Sergei Litvinov, a hammer thrower, believes that from a legal point of view, the team has good chances of being allowed to compete, reports Channel News Asia.

The IAAF’s Doping Review Board rejected the applications of 67 Russian sportsmen to compete as neutral but allows Darya Klishia, based and tested in the US. In his letter to IAAF President Sebastian Coe, Litvinov cites that he trains outside Moscow and has his father, a gold medalist in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, as his coach.

VIDEO: Russian track and field team banned from 2016 Olympics