Massive blow to Russia hopes for Winter Olympics

Russia moved a step closer to being barred from the Winter Olympics in February, as the World Anti-Doping Agency declined to lift its suspension of Moscow's national anti-doping body.



Friday, November 17, 2017

Russia moved a step closer to being barred from the Winter Olympics in February, as the World Anti-Doping Agency declined to lift its suspension of Moscow's national anti-doping body.

In a blow to Russia, the agency maintained its suspension of the Russian body, Rusada, which was first imposed in 2015 when evidence emerged of widespread cheating.

Wada's decision comes before the International Olympic Committee's executive board meets next month to consider whether Russia can compete at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The independent McLaren report has detailed state-sponsored doping conspiracy from 2011 to 2015, culminating at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, where the hosts topped the medals table.

"We do not have the right to decide who takes part in international competition," Wada president Craig Reedie said.

"The major event-holder has that right. We regret that Rusada is not yet compliant.

"Technically, they have improved hugely since compliance was removed. But having set a road map for compliance, there are two issues that have to be fulfilled, and we can't walk away from the commitments we have from that road map."

Wada has demanded that Russia accept the findings of the McLaren report, and allow access to urine samples stored at its Moscow laboratory as part of its "road map" back to compliance.

The explosive report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren accuses Russia's secret service and sports ministry of orchestrating a plot that included switching dirty samples at the Sochi doping laboratory.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE