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    In this Feb. 18, 2014 file photo, a Russian skating fan holds the country's national flag over the Olympic rings before the start of the men's 10,000-meter speedskating race at Adler Arena Skating Center during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia

    Banning Russian Team from Rio Olympics Would Undermine Olympic Charter

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    Anatoliy Peskov, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Sports Law, said that banning the Russian national team from the Olympic Games in Rio would be disrespectful to those sportsmen who achieved highest results in a fair and just competition.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Banning Russian team from the Summer Games in Rio in August would undermine the Olympic Charter and would equal to political discrimination, Anatoliy Peskov, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Sports Law, told Sputnik.

    On Monday, an independent commission led by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren presented a report, accusing Russia of having run a state-sponsored doping program. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) then called on the IOC to consider declining entries from all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic and Paralympic committees for the upcoming Olympic Games.

    The International Olympic Committee has postponed a decision on the participation of the Russian national team in the 2016 Rio Olympics until the end of the week.

    "Banning Russian team from the Olympics in such a difficult international situation would mean violating not only principles of the Olympic Charter, but also the principle of peaceful co-existence of states. It would further escalate international tensions. It would be a politically motivated discrimination against such a big and influential country as Russia," Peskov, who is also a deputy chairman of the commission on sport law of the public council of the Russian Ministry of Sport, said.

    He added that banning the national team from the Games would also be disrespectful to those sportsmen who achieved highest results in a fair and just competition.

    "It is quite clear to me that a real information war is being fought against Russia, whose purpose is to compromise the achievements of the Russian sports. Accusations that the state itself created doping program are completely untrue and absurd," Peskov said.

    He added that the blame for doping cover-up could be put on some officials, but not the state. "But some international sports officials are carrying out a political order and are not thinking about the consequences of their reckless accusations and decisions," Peskov noted.

    However, Peskov who is also a deputy chairman of the commission on sports law of the public council of the Russian Ministry of Sport admitted that "activities of Russian sports officials in the fight against doping are really inefficient."

    "If WADA allegations at least partially prove to be true, the officials at all levels, regardless of their past achievements should be brought to justice," Peskov said.

    Following the report release, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would carry out an investigation of allegations, adding that officials implicated in it as direct perpetrators of doping violations would be suspended through course of investigation. Putin also called on WADA to provide full, factual and objective information so that the country’s law enforcers could take it into the account in their investigation.

    On Tuesday, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that four Russian sports officials named in the WADA report claiming state-sanctioned doping have been temporarily suspended from their duties.


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    doping, Rio Olympics, WADA, International Olympic Committee (IOC), Anatoly Peskov, Russia
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