Russia
Getty Images

Russia track and field ban to last into 2017

Leave a comment

The earliest Russia’s track and field suspension can be lifted is February.

Banned since November 2015, Russia has made progress toward satisfying reinstatement conditions since June, said Norwegian anti-doping expert Rune Andersen, who has headed an independent inspection team to monitor Russia’s progress.

The IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, won’t make a decision regarding lifting Russia’s ban until at least February. Then, the independent inspection team hopes to provide a timeline for Russia’s potential reinstatement.

Andersen outlined three criteria that must be met.

  • Russia’s track and field federation complies in full with the World Anti-Doping Agency Code and IAAF anti-doping rules.
  • IAAF and Russia’s anti-doping agency (currently non-compliant) are able to conduct their anti-doping programs in Russia and, in particular, drug testing effectively and without interference.
  • Reintegration of Russian athletes into international competitions will not jeopardize the integrity of those competitions.

“There is a recognition that it is important that clean athletes are given a system to get back into competition, but as the report says, they do not jeopardize the rights of the clean athletes and certainly don’t jeopardize the integrity of the competitions they come back to,” IAAF president Seb Coe said.

A key date on the road to February is Dec. 9, when independent investigator Richard McLaren is to deliver his final report on doping in Russia.

Russian athletes can still apply to a doping review board to compete individually while Russia is banned, if they have been subject to robust testing.

One Russian track and field athlete, Darya Klishina, competed in the Rio Olympics, finishing ninth in the long jump.

The next major international track and field event for Russians is the European Indoor Championships from March 3-5 in Belgrade, Serbia.

MORE: IOC president answers critics on Russia doping

IOC president wants life bans for Russian cheats

DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 16: IOC President Thomas Bach closing remarks during the fourth day of the 21st ANOC General Assembly at the Sheraton Grand Hotel on November 16, 2016 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images for ANOC)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Russian athletes and officials who are proven to have been part of a doping “manipulation system” should be banned for life from the Olympics, IOC President Thomas Bach said Thursday.

Bach gave his personal view one day before Canadian investigator Richard McLaren publishes a final report into alleged state-backed cheating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Proof of systematic doping would be “aggravated circumstances” to justify life bans, the IOC leader said at a news conference after a three-day executive board meeting.

“I would not like to see this person again at any Olympic Games in any function,” Bach said, noting that as an IOC disciplinary commission chairman he approved life bans for Austrian team members implicated in doping at the 2006 Turin Winter Games.

However, proving that individual athletes knew of systematic doping involving state agencies could be difficult.

McLaren, who was appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency in May, is expected to give more detail about cheating operations at the Sochi laboratory.

In his interim report in July, McLaren confirmed claims by former lab director Grigory Rodchenkov of a hole-in-the-wall swapping system aided by the FSB security agency to exchange athletes’ dirty urine samples for clean ones.

Earlier Thursday, the IOC member appointed to oversee disciplinary cases that arise from McLaren’s evidence acknowledged they could be tough to prove.

“Can you prove (athletes) were aware?” Denis Oswald, a Swiss lawyer, said on the sidelines of a sports law conference in Geneva.

“It is not that we would be scared to attack high level people in the Russian regime,” the Swiss lawyer said. “The question is more on the legal point of view. Can you punish athletes if they have done nothing and whether they were not aware of what was happening?”

Bach has also appointed a second IOC commission, headed by former Switzerland president Samuel Schmid, to evaluate if McLaren’s report and evidence proves a state-run doping system.

“And then based on that we will see if we can start cases against athletes,” Oswald said.

Meanwhile, United States lawmakers want Bach to attend a congressional committee hearing next Thursday to provide an update on sports’ fight against doping.

“Unfortunately I cannot attend there,” said Bach, adding that the IOC will “provide by other means all the information they may need.”

MORE: Russia sets 2018 Olympics medal target

IOC president doesn’t rule out awarding 2028 Olympic host in 2017

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 23: The Olympic Flag waves as part of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony at Fisht Olympic Stadium on February 23, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
AP
Leave a comment

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach says he wants to change the Olympic host city bidding procedure because it “produces too many losers.”

Bach’s comments came on the same day the IOC executive board cleared all three candidate cities for the 2024 Olympics — Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest, Hungary — to advance to the next stage of the race.

Bach did not categorically rule out the possibility of awarding the hosting rights for two games at once — 2024 and 2028 — when the IOC votes next September in Lima, Peru.

Bach said at a news conference “it is not the purpose of an Olympic candidature procedure to produce losers.”

He said the goal is “to produce the best possible host for an Olympic Games.”

Asked about speculation the IOC could award the 2024 and 2028 Olympics at the same time, he said: “Let us study this question, which is not an easy one.”

VIDEO: LA 2024 Olympic bid venue plan