IOC to decide Russian sports future

IOC to decide Russian sports future

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is holding an extraordinary meeting of the Executive Committee, which is to decide on a punishment for the Russian athletes for alleged doping.

It is known that the WADA report, which accused Moscow of creating a special mechanism for substituting doping samples of athletes at the Olympic Games in Sochi, became the reason for the discussion. In particular, WADA believes that positive doping tests of Russian athletes have been disappearing in the anti-doping laboratory in Moscow for years. In this regard, recommendations of the agency are quite simple - to ban Russian athletes from the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.

The head of the IOC Thomas Bach, commenting on the WADA report yesterday, informed about the tough sanctions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in turn noted that the WADA bases its accusations against the Russian sport on the testimony of the former head of Moscow's anti-doping laboratory, Gregory Rodchenkov, who was accused of violating the anti-doping legislation in 2012.

"Accusations against Russian athletes are built on a testimony of one man — a man with a scandalous reputation. Criminal proceedings were initiated against this man in 2012 over anti-doping legislation violations. However, the evidence collected at that time proved to be insufficient, and the case was closed," Putin said.

A member of the Commission of the International Road Cycling Association, Alexander Gusyatnikov, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that the International Olympic Committee would most likely prefer to punish Russia somehow following the WADA report, but not the removal from the Olympic Games in Rio.

"Of course, this will have a very strong impact on Russian sports. After the Olympics, elections will be held in all the international federations and Russian representatives will be mostly deleted from the lists. We will no longer be able to influence regulations in sports. This is a bad thing. In general, we will stop participating in the sports development process at the international level," Alexander Gusyatnikov warned of possible consequences.

"As for our athletes, the composition of the main national teams, as a rule, changes by about 50% at every Olympic Games. It is no secret that today many are attracted to sports dreaming to win medals, and the government grants winners with benefits, financial assistance, prize money. It is a profession and a way to earn money. There are so many things which will slow the development of our sport," he said.

Nevertheless, Alexander Gusyatnikov expressed hope that the Russian flag would not be banned at the Olympic Games in Rio. "It is possible that our athletes will be allowed to compete in Rio but under the Olympic flag, not the Russian one. South Africa, Rhodesia and other countries competed at Olympic Games under the Olympic flag. They can choose such punishment, but then the Russian Olympic Committee will decide whether to send Russian athletes on such terms or not," the member of the Commission of the International Road Cycling Association on road races concluded.