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    IOC Disciplinary Commission May Impose New Sanctions on Russian Athletes - Bach

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    International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Disciplinary Commission may disqualify Russian athletes following new tests launched after the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) report accusing Russia of state-sanctioned doping, IOC President Thomas Bach said Tuesday.

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Sputnik) – Provisional measures following the WADA McLaren report included not accrediting Russian Sport Ministry officials to the Rio Olympics “from the minister down,” according to the president.

    “Following the results of this Disciplinary Commission, more sanctions and actions may follow. Furthermore, we launched a full inquiry into all Russian athletes of the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 under the chairmanship of Danny [Denis] Oswald and we will not hesitate to sanction all athletes and officials implicated,” Bach said at the 129th IOC session.

    The IOC president noted that the principle of presumption of innocence was “reversed” in relation to Russian athletes, forcing them to “bear collective responsibility” for the transgressions of athletes implicated in doping use.

    “A basic principle of natural law is that any human being is entitled to individual justice and has to be presumed innocent. This of course also applies to athletes. However, the allegations weighed so heavily and were so detailed that these principles could not be upheld in their entirety. Therefore, the IOC Executive Board had to reverse the presumption of innocence for Russian athletes and to make him or her bear the collective responsibility for the alleged failures of the government,” Bach said.

    All 68 Russian track and field athletes have been prohibited by the international federation from competing in the Rio Olympics that kick off later this week.

    “Nevertheless, natural justice does not allow us to deprive a human being of the right to prove their innocence. This is why the IOC Executive Board granted this right to the Russian athletes and imposed strict eligibility criteria on them,” he underscored.

    Thomas Bach said he expected Russia along with other countries to restructure their anti-doping systems.

    “To fully review the WADA anti-doping system, we need the contribution of everybody. Here, we expect Russia to live up to its commitment of a complete and comprehensive restructuring of its anti-doping system,” Bach said at the 129th IOC session.

    He added that “there are still many far-reaching decisions we need to take in the near future.”

    The International Olympic Committee will also offer establishing a more transparent and independent anti-doping system this fall.

    "The recent developments have shown that we need a full review of the WADA anti-doping system <…> The IOC is calling for a more robust and efficient anti-doping system. This requires clear responsibilities, more transparency, more independence and better worldwide harmonization. The IOC will make proposals in all these respects at the Olympic Summit in October this year and in 2017 at the WADA [doping conference]," Bach explained.

    Stressing the need to "keep the cheaters away," Bach nevertheless pointed out the anti-doping areas where the IOC "does not have authority and for what it cannot be made responsible."

    "It is not the IOC that is responsible for the accreditation and supervision of anti-doping laboratories. It is not the IOC which can be held responsible for alleged corruption between the leadership of an IF and a national member federation to cover up doping. The IOC has no authority to declare any organization non-compliant with the WADA code. The IOC has no authority over the testing program of athletes outside the Olympic Games. The IOC has no authority to follow up on information about failings of the testing system. The fact that the shared responsibilities of the stakeholders of the WADA system is one of the deficiencies of the current anti-doping system which have been laid bare," Bach said.

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    Tags:
    doping scandal, Russian athletes, WADA, International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach
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