The Latest: World Anti-Doping Agency ‘disappointed’ by IOC

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The Latest from the IOC meeting on Russia’s participation at the Rio Games (all times local):

00:40 a.m.

The World Anti-Doping Agency is disappointed that Olympics leaders have rejected their plea to ban Russia from the Rio Games.

WADA’s investigators had found further evidence that dope-testing in Russia has been manipulated by official bodies.

But the International Olympic Committee decided against a blanket ban on Russians competing in the Rio Games next month, allowing each sport to decide on participation.

WADA President Craig Reedie says the organization is “disappointed that the IOC did not heed WADA’s executive committee recommendations” after investigators “exposed, beyond a reasonable doubt, a state-run doping program in Russia that seriously undermines the principles of clean sport.”


10:50 p.m.

The umbrella organization representing national anti-doping agencies is disappointed that Olympic leaders did not ban Russia completely from the Rio de Janeiro Games.

The International Olympic Committee has instead left it to individual sports to decide whether they want to exclude Russians from next month’s event.

Joseph de Pencier, chief executive of the 59-member Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations, says the IOC “failed to confront forcefully the findings of evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia corrupting the Russian sport system.”

Pencier has also rebuked the IOC for not finding a way to allow doping whistleblower Yuliya Stepanova who has been “treated disgracefully” by Russia to compete in Rio.

The IOC rejected an application by the 800-meter runner who helped to expose the doping scandal to compete under a neutral flag at the games because she has been previously banned for doping.

Pencier says “it is a sad day for clean sport.”


10:45 p.m.

Russia looks set to send a five-rider team to equestrian events at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

International Equestrian Federation President Ingmar De Vos says “there is no indication of any organized doping malpractices within the Russian equestrian delegation.”

Russia has qualified three rider and horse pairings in eventing, for team and individual competitions in Rio, and two pairings in dressage.

No Russian equestrian cases were noted last Monday in a World Anti-Doping Agency inquiry report which suggested hundreds of covered-up positive tests were made to disappear in a state-backed doping program from 2011 to 2015.

On Sunday, the IOC executive board asked Olympic sports federations to analyze the doping record of each athlete qualified to compete in Rio before their entry can be approved.

De Vos says in a statement “as long as there is no indication against any specific athlete I see absolutely no reason why the Russian equestrian athletes should not compete at Rio.”


10:15 p.m.

World marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe has accused Olympic leaders of weakness in the fight against doping and not doing enough to protect clean athletes.

Radcliffe says it is “unfair” of the International Olympic Committee to leave it to individual sports to decide whether or not Russians should be allowed to compete in Rio de Janeiro.

“A truly strong message for clean sport would have been to ban all those who have been caught cheating,” Radcliffe said in a statement posted on Twitter. “In short, it does not send the clear message it could have done that doping and cheating in all Olympic sport will never be tolerated.”

The Briton called the Olympic body’s ruling a “sad day for clean sport. A decision the shows that the IOC’s primary concern is not to protect the clean athletes.”

The IOC is banning any Russian who has previously served a doping ban from Rio next month.

But Radcliffe said “this cannot fairly be only Russian athletes.”


10:10 p.m.

The leader of New Zealand’s anti-doping movement says the IOC’s decision not to impose a total ban on Russian athletes at the Rio Games shows “a lack of will to back the core principles of their organization with hard decisions.”

Graeme Steel also said placing international federations in charge of deciding which athletes can participate in Rio puts them in a conflicted position, because declaring them ineligible would infer that their own anti-doping programs aren’t up to par.

He said the federations have neither the time nor the resources to make those decisions in a consistent way.


9:45 p.m.

The head of cycling’s ruling body, Brian Cookson, welcomed the IOC’s decision to reject a blanket ban on the Russian team.

Speaking with Sky TV, Cookson said the UCI will continue to look at the situation, case by case, before deciding which athletes can compete in Rio.

“I think we’ll have to continue our detailed analysis of the situation,” Cookson said. “Which Russian rider has been selected for the Rio Olympics, who is in the registered testing pool, the biological passport, and so on. Frankly, I think I favor an individual approach rather than a blanket ban. I think that Russians cyclists are tested just as frequently as other nationalities.”

While rejecting a blanket ban on the Russian team, the IOC said Russia cannot send any athletes who have been sanctioned for doping, even if the sanction had been served.

That decision is likely to rule out Ilnur Zakarin, who won a stage during the Tour de France which ended Sunday, and who served a two-year ban after testing positive for the anabolic steroid methandienone in 2009.


8:45 p.m.

The International Judo Federation, whose honorary president is Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, has detailed its anti-doping testing before the Rio de Janeiro Games.

The IJF says in a statement that it has already tested 84 percent of the 389 athletes from 136 countries who are qualified to compete in Rio.

It made no mention of 11 places Russian judokas have in the lineup.

The IOC on Sunday agreed detailed eligibility criteria for all Russian athletes that each Olympic sports governing body must oversee less than two weeks before the opening ceremony.

Any Russian athlete or sports federation implicated in an ongoing World Anti-Doping Agency inquiry into state-orchestrated doping must be refused entry, the IOC said.

The WADA report said eight positive tests in Russian judo were made to disappear in the state doping program since 2011.

The IJF’s links to Russia include a close ally of Putin, Arkady Rotenberg, sitting on its executive committee.


7:45 p.m.

The International Tennis Federation says it expects Russia’s eight-player Olympic tennis team to compete at the games in Rio de Janeiro.

The ITF’s announcement came after the International Olympic Committee allowed individual sports to decide whether to allow Russians at the games. The IOC said it was imposing tough eligibility conditions, including proof of reliable anti-doping testing.

The federation says “the eight Russian tennis players who have been nominated to compete in Rio have been subject to a rigorous anti-doping testing programme outside Russia.”

It added that the ITF “believes that this is sufficient for the eight Russian tennis players to meet the relevant requirement of today’s decision of the IOC executive board.”

But the ITF added it will seek confirmation from the World Anti-Doping Agency that “none of those players or the Russian Tennis Federation were implicated in the McLaren report.”

The report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren accused Russia of running a state-sponsored doping and cover-up program.


7:20 p.m.

The body representing the 204 national Olympic committees has welcomed the IOC’s decision not to impose a blanket ban on Russians from the Rio de Janeiro Games.

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board decided to let individual sports federations decide which Russians should be eligible, following allegations of state-sponsored cheating by World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren.

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah of Kuwait, president of the Association of National Olympic Committees, says the “allegations made in the McLaren report were shocking and directly threaten the integrity of sport.”

But Sheikh Ahmad believes “banning the entire Russian team would have unfairly punished many clean athletes.”

He endorsed the IOC’s decision to give “international federations responsibility to ensure clean competitions in their sports at Rio 2016.”


7:05 p.m.

Two-time Olympic pole vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva has welcomed the International Olympic Committee’s decision to bar a renowned Russian doping whistleblower from competing at the games.

The IOC said 800-meter Yulia Stepanova, who along with her husband provided evidence of widespread doping in Russian track and field, could not race in Rio because she once served a doping ban.

Isinbayeva, who herself has been prevented from going to Rio as part of a blanket ban on the Russian track team, tells Russia’s R-Sport agency that “at least one wise decision on track and field has been taken” in Stepanova’s case.

Isinbayeva also called for Stepanova to be “banned for life.”

Stepanova and her husband left Russia in 2014 citing fears for their safety and have been branded traitors by many Russian fans and officials.


6:45 p.m.

Before the IOC made its ruling, Russia’s top Olympic official had warned the International Olympic Committee that its members would be bowing to “geopolitical pressure” if they banned Russia from next month’s games in Rio de Janeiro.

In the text of Russian Olympic Committee president Alexander Zhukov’s speech to the board, he compares a blanket ban on all Russian athletes to catching a criminal and then placing “his family, friends and acquaintances behind bars just because they knew the criminal or they live in the same town.”

Calls to ban the entire Russian team went “beyond the bounds of sport,” Zhukov said, adding “I call on you not to become hostages of geopolitical pressure.”


6:10 p.m.

Russian Olympic Committee head Alexander Zhukov says it will not appeal against an IOC rule to bar Russian athletes who previously served doping bans from competing at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

Zhukov, who attended Sunday’s telephone conference of the IOC executive board, says he does not agree with the rule agreed just 12 days before the opening ceremony.

Still, he says “we don’t have time enough to do such a thing” like appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

A previous CAS verdict suggests the IOC rule could be overturned.

In 2011, a CAS panel declared invalid the IOC’s so-called “Osaka Rule,” which sought to bar athletes from the next Olympic Games if they served a ban for doping of at least six months.

Zhukov does not rule out any Russian athlete filing an urgent appeal as an individual because “all of them can go to CAS.”


6:05 p.m.

Russia is likely to be without some of its top athletes at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro thanks to an International Olympic Committee rule prohibiting former dopers from competing.

While rejecting a blanket ban on the Russian team, the IOC said Russia cannot send any athlete “who has ever been sanctioned for doping, even if he or she has served the sanction.”

That appears to rule out swimmer Yulia Efimova, the world champion in the 100-meter breaststroke, 2012 Olympic silver medal-winning weightlifter Tatyana Kashirina and two-time Olympic bronze medal-winning cyclist Olga Zabelinskaya.

All three have previously served a doping ban.


5:45 p.m.

The leader of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says the IOC refused to take decisive leadership by stopping short of a complete Russian ban at the Olympics.

Travis Tygart says the decision and the confusing mess left in its wake is a significant blow to the rights of clean athletes.

Tygart also called the decision to refuse Yulia Stepanova entry into the games “incomprehensible” — and a move that will undoubtedly deter whistleblowers in the future from coming forward.


5:20 p.m.

IOC President Thomas Bach has defended the decision not to ban all Russians from the Olympics by insisting clean athletes should not be punished.

Bach says “an athlete should not suffer and should not be sanctioned for a system in which he was not implicated.”

The International Olympic Committee is leaving it up to international sports federations to decide which Russian athletes can compete in Rio de Janeiro next month.

Bach accepted that the decision “might not please everybody.”

But speaking on a media call, Bach added that “this is not about expectations — this is about doing justice to clean athletes all over the world.”


5 p.m.

The Russian Sports Minister says that “the majority” of Russia’s team complies with International Olympic Committee criteria on doping and will be able to compete in Rio.

The IOC set extra criteria for Russian athletes when ruling out a complete ban. Athletes who have previously served doping bans will not be eligible, while international federations will also analyze an athlete’s testing history.

Vitaly Mutko says the criteria are “very tough, but that’s a kind of challenge for our team… I’m sure the majority of our team will comply.”

Around “80 percent” of the Russian team regularly undergoes international testing of the kind specified in the IOC criteria, he adds.

Mutko says he accepts the criteria but adds it is not fair that former dopers from other countries can compete.


3:55 p.m.

The IOC has decided against a complete ban on Russian athletes from the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The International Olympic Committee says it is leaving it up to global federations to decide which Russian athletes to accept in their sports.

The IOC says it will deny entry of Russian athletes who do not meet the requirements set out for the federations.

The IOC says the federations have the authority, under their own rules, to exclude Russian teams as a whole from their sports.


2:20 p.m.

Several Russian TV networks are joined by news crews for broadcasters from around the globe awaiting the IOC decision.

Around 25 media are gathered at the front door of the IOC’s temporary premises in Lausanne, about 400 meters from the Olympic Museum.

Most are focused on finding shade from the 25-degree (77 Fahrenheit) sunshine as the IOC’s president, Thomas Bach, leads a conference call of his executive board. It will consider a ban on Russian athletes from the Rio de Janeiro Games that open in 12 days’ time.

Bach is not expected to meet with reporters after the meeting.

Russian broadcasters expect IOC member Alexander Zhukov to emerge to update TV crews.

Reporters from Brazilian, Chinese and Japanese broadcasters are among the group.


12:59 p.m.

Russia is waiting to find out whether its entire team will be excluded from next month’s Olympics over the country’s doping scandal.

Russia has already been handed a doping punishment when its track and field team lost an appeal against a ban on Thursday.

Earlier interim IOC measures announced Tuesday included urging winter sports federations to move their competitions out of Russia this season, in response to allegations that Russian state officials hid hundreds of failed drug tests over several years and swapped samples from doped athletes for clean ones during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Russia has admitted some doping violations by its athletes and coaches, but still denies that the government was involved. State media has painted the issue as a U.S.-led political vendetta.


12:37 p.m.

Olympic leaders are meeting to consider whether to impose a total ban on Russian athletes from the Rio de Janeiro Games because of state-sponsored doping.

The International Olympic Committee’s ruling executive board is meeting Sunday via teleconference to decide on sanctions following new allegations of a government-backed doping program involving Russian athletes in summer and winter sports.

Russia’s track and field athletes have already been banned by the IAAF, the sport’s governing body, a decision that was upheld Thursday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The World Anti-Doping agency and other anti-doping bodies have recommended a ban on Russia’s entire team.

The IOC has said it would seek a balance between “collective punishment” and “individual justice.”

Short of a complete ban, the IOC could let individual sports federations decide whether to allow Russian athletes in their events.


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