The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) refusal to ban Russian Federation from the Rio Games was slammed yesterday by United States Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart. Tygart had led calls for Olympic officials to ban all Russian athletes from competing in Rio. Given the urgency of the situation, with the Olympic Games Rio 2016 starting in 12 days, and the athletes’ entry process already underway, the IOC EB had to take a preliminary decision with regard to the participation of Russian athletes in Rio de Janeiro. But Tygart, who led the investigation that ultimately brought down disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, believes the International Olympic Committee should be taking responsibility for ensuring clean sport in Rio and not passing the buck. Zhukov, who attended Sunday’s telephone conference of the International Olympic Committee executive board, says he does not agree with the rule agreed just 12 days before the opening ceremony. The International Handball Federation has written to the Russian Handball Federation to ask for the whereabouts of the women’s team to enable immediate drug-testing, while, boxing, gymnastics and modern pentathlon have told Press Association Sport that they are now assessing matters. The IOC also said Russian Federation is barred from entering for the Rio Games any athlete who has ever been sanctioned for doping. The International Olympic Committee, however, decided on Sunday that Stepanova would not compete in the Rio Olympics next month despite her role as a whistleblower. A damning World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) report released last week alleged a complex system of subterfuge that involved Russia’s security services tampering with and altering sealed urine samples.
Russia Yulia Stepanova walking on the track as she was injured during the 800 meter-race of the European Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam.
The IOC says the federations have the authority, under their own rules, to exclude Russian teams as a whole from their sports. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) this week rejected an appeal by 67 Russian athletes against the IAAF ban. The team could be without some of its star names in Rio because of the International Olympic Committee measure barring any Russians who have previously served doping bans. Russian Federation has been under intense scrutiny since late a year ago, when a WADA, report alleged organized doping among athletes, coaches and officials in the sport of track and field. It’s heart-wrenching to think that, at London or Sochi, hardworking sportsmen and women may have been robbed of the glory they rightly deserved because Russian officials decided it is acceptable to cheat in order to boost national ego.



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