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IOC backs ‘tough sanctions’ after WADA receives manipulated data from Moscow lab

IOC backs ‘tough sanctions’ after WADA receives manipulated data from Moscow lab

26/11/2019 at 14:40Updated 26/11/2019 at 14:51

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has condemned the actions of those responsible for manipulating data following the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) recommendation that Russia receive a four-year ban from the Olympics.

WADA's independent Compliance Review Committee recommended the ban after Moscow provided WADA with laboratory data that was found to have been doctored.

The IOC says it will “support the toughest sanctions” against those responsible, stating the “flagrant manipulation is an attack on the credibility of sport itself and is an insult to the sporting movement worldwide”.

The IOC also urged the Russian authorities to deliver the raw data on which this case is based.

The statement added: “This is still a matter of huge importance, since the delivery of any fully authenticated raw data will ensure that full justice can finally be done, and that the guilty can be properly punished and the innocent fully protected.

Olympic flag, Russia flag

Olympic flag, Russia flagGetty Images

“In this way, the shadow of suspicion over the new generation of clean Russian athletes can be removed.”

Russia was banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from last year's Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for alleged state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

But some Russian athletes with no history of doping were cleared to compete as neutrals.

Under the latest recommendations of the compliance committee, some Russians without a history of doping could be cleared to compete in major international events as neutrals, as was the case in Pyeongchang.

Additional reports from Reuters

IOC statement in full

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) condemns in the strongest terms the actions of those responsible for the manipulation of the Moscow laboratory data before it was transferred to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in January 2019. This flagrant manipulation is an attack on the credibility of sport itself and is an insult to the sporting movement worldwide. The IOC will support the toughest sanctions against all those responsible for this manipulation.

At the same time, the IOC would like to thank WADA’s Intelligence and Investigations (I&I) department and the independent forensic experts for the detailed and very professional work they have done, on which the recommendations of WADA’s Compliance Review Committee (CRC) are based. Since WADA has published a summary of the document, the IOC has decided to make some initial comments on its broad findings.

The IOC once again requests that the Russian authorities deliver the raw data on which this case is based. This is still a matter of huge importance, since the delivery of any fully authenticated raw data will ensure that full justice can finally be done, and that the guilty can be properly punished and the innocent fully protected. In this way, the shadow of suspicion over the new generation of clean Russian athletes can be removed.

We note that the report proves that any manipulation of the data is the sole responsibility of the Russian authorities: “The Russian authorities were responsible for preserving the integrity of the Moscow Data.” (CRC Recommendations to the WADA Executive Committee) At the same time, we also note that the report finds that the sports movement has not been involved in any of this manipulation, and that the report does not indicate any wrongdoing by the sports movement in this regard, in particular the Russian Olympic Committee or its members. In this context, the IOC welcomes the opportunity offered by WADA to Russian athletes to compete, “where they are able to demonstrate that they are not implicated in any way by the non-compliance”.

With regard to the sanctions following this manipulation, we will still have to evaluate these in detail. The IOC emphasises that any sanctions should follow the rules of natural justice and respect human rights. Therefore, the IOC stresses that the guilty should be punished in the toughest way possible because of the seriousness of this infringement and thus welcomes the sanctions for the Russian authorities responsible. However, given the seriousness of the manipulation, we strongly urge WADA to take further action. This means, in particular, that WADA should refer all these files to the Council of Europe and UNESCO, having regard to the Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention and the UNESCO International Convention Against Doping in Sport.

At the end of this process, we hope that justice will finally prevail and that there will be full and proper sanctions.

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