IOC Releases Conditions for Russian Participation in Rio Olympics; Avoids Full Ban

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia

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With only 12 days left before the start of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, the International Olympic Committee has placed the final determination of each Russian athlete’s participation to the individual federations. For the sport of swimming, this means that FINA has to decide, case by case, the fate of over 35 Russian swimmers, in addition to Synchro, Diving and Water Polo.

After yesterday’s report by The Daily Mail that an “insider” had expressed that Russia would be banned from the 2016 Rio Olympics, and possibly the 2018 Winter Olympics, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that it would not be banning Russia as a country from the Olympic Games.

The IOC based its decision off of the findings of the recently released McLaren Report, the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) from July 21, 2016, the Olympic Charter, and the World Anti-Doping Code.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) was given the chance to present the case for Russian athletes and the ROC with a presentation done by Mr. Alexander Zhukov, president of the ROC. Zhukov noted that “full cooperation with all international organizations” will be given in order to “shed light on the issue in every respect.” He also commented that the “ROC commits to a complete and comprehensive restructuring of the Russian anti-doping system….[stressing] that the ROC is committed to clean sport and would work towards guaranteeing clean sport in Russia.”

With all of this in mind the IOC determined that in order for a Russian athlete to be eligible to compete in the Olympics, five conditions must be met and final determinations must come from each International Federation (IF).  This seems like a tall task, riddled with legal ramifications, to be accomplished within 12 days.  Many athletes are already in transit to Rio.

  • 1. The IOC will not accept any entry of any Russian athlete in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 unless such athlete can meet the conditions set out below.
  • 2. Entry will be accepted by the IOC only if an athlete is able to provide evidence to the full satisfaction of his or her International Federation in relation to the following criteria: 
  • • The International Federations, when establishing their pool of eligible Russian athletes, to apply the World Anti-Doping Code and other principles agreed by the Olympic Summit (21 June 2016).
  • • The absence of a positive national anti-doping test cannot be considered sufficient by the IFs. 
  • • The International Federations should carry out an individual analysis of each athlete’s anti-doping record, taking into account only reliable adequate international tests, and the specificities of the athlete’s sport and its rules, in order to ensure a level playing field.  
  • • The International Federations to examine the information contained in the IP Report, and for such purpose seek from WADA the names of athletes and National Federations (NFs) implicated. Nobody implicated, be it an athlete, an official, or an NF, may be accepted for entry or accreditation for the Olympic Games. 
  • • The International Federations will also have to apply their respective rules in relation to the sanctioning of entire NFs. 
  • 3. The ROC is not allowed to enter any athlete for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if he or she has served the sanction. 
  • 4. The IOC will accept an entry by the ROC only if the athlete’s International Federation is satisfied that the evidence provided meets conditions 2 and 3 above and if it is upheld by an expert from the CAS list of arbitrators appointed by an ICAS Member, independent from any sports organisation involved in the Olympic Games Rio 2016. 
  • 5. The entry of any Russian athlete ultimately accepted by the IOC will be subject to a rigorous additional out-of-competition testing programme in coordination with the relevant International Federation and WADA. Any non-availability for this programme will lead to the immediate withdrawal of the accreditation by the IOC. 

The IOC’s ruling will most notably affect Yuliya Efimova who back in 2013 was banned for 16 months after testing positive for 7-keto-DHEA in an out-of-competition testing in Los Angeles. The 24 year old should be held out of the Games, as she does not meet the third condition.

The IOC also called on WADA to “fully review their anti-doping system.” Additionally, these conditions are just the initial step, given that the Rio Games begin in a mere 12 days. The IOC states, “Additional sanctions and measures may be imposed by the IOC following the final report of the IP and due legal procedure by the IOC Disciplinary Commission.”

More information on the IOC’s decision regarding Russia’s participation in the Games can be found here.

12 comments

  1. avatar
    Naveh Eldar

    This is a joke and totally unfair to the individual sports’ governing bodies that are 12 days away from the opening ceremony. Make a decision and take the criticism.

  2. avatar
    Pg S Dytn

    Lily Barguss Smith for english xx

    • avatar
      Lily Barguss Smith

      Thank u❤️

  3. avatar
    James Tebbett

    This seems like ‘passing the buck’. The Olympic Movement is looking increasingly shady right now. At least Efimova won’t be going to Rio!

    • avatar
      Naveh Eldar

      It’s absolutely passing the buck! ?

    • avatar
      Leander

      The IOC looks increasingly shady? When did it ever not look shady? I doubt that it has it been possible to host the Olympics without offering the right bribes to the right international corruptocrats for at least 30 years?

      For the IOC, this actually seems like a reasonable attempt to recognize that the Russian system is broken but that some Russians might be clean (or at least as clean as the top athletes are in the sport in which they are competing).

  4. avatar
    Sabrina Favini

    Theresa Favini

  5. avatar
    Cynthia Granata

    Corrupt organization. Corrupt team. Corrosive and wrong.

  6. avatar
    Rich Davis

    Russia to start a new independent anti doping agency and its first President will be Vladimir Putin! ?
    Why would anyone trust the Russians to play fair???

  7. avatar
    Alison Miller

    Well we know FINA’s decision. Russians will go.

  8. avatar
    Donna Bennett

    This is just disgusting to me. If the IOC will not uphold the very ideals and spirit that are supposedly the foundation of the Olympics then they should just discontinue them as they don’t really mean anything any more. I have always loved the Olympics – This is just so very sad to me.

  9. avatar
    Brendan Farrell

    So if you’re an American sprinter caught twice for doping the IOC is happy for you to compete once you’ve served your bans, but if Russian “The ROC is not allowed to enter any athlete for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if he or she has served the sanction.” – makes perfect sense!