WADA criticises IOC for failing to ban Russian team | Pakistan Today

WADA criticises IOC for failing to ban Russian team

The World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) is “disappointed” its recommendation to ban Russia from next month’s Olympic Games in Rio has been rejected.

Following the country’s doping scandal, the International Olympic Committee has left it up to individual sports’ federations to ban Russian competitors.

Wada “stands by” its recommendation last month of a full Russia team ban.

And Wada chief Olivier Niggli said the IOC’s decision will “inevitably” mean “lesser protection for clean athletes”.

Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said investigators had “exposed, beyond a reasonable doubt, a state-run doping program in Russia that seriously undermines the principles of clean sport embodied within the World Anti-Doping Code”.

There was also concern expressed for Yuliya Stepanova, the Russian runner whose evidence helped expose her nation’s doping scandal, but will now not be allowed to compete in Rio under a neutral flag.

“Wada has been very vocal in supporting Yuliya’s desire to compete as an independent athlete,” added Niggli.

“Ms Stepanova was instrumental in courageously exposing the single biggest doping scandal of all time. Wada is very concerned by the message that this sends whistleblowers for the future.”

Olympic organisers have been accused of a lack of leadership and creating a “confusing mess” over the Russia decision.

The United States Anti-Doping Association (Usada) said the IOC had delivered a “significant blow to the rights of clean athletes”.

“Many, including clean athletes and whistleblowers, have demonstrated courage and strength in confronting a culture of state-supported doping and corruption within Russia,” said Usada chief Travis Tygart.

“Disappointingly, however, in response to the most important moment for clean athletes and the integrity of the Olympic Games, the IOC has refused to take decisive leadership.”

The IOC also ruled that any Russian athlete who has served a doping ban will not be eligible for the Games.

That means it will not allow whistleblower Stepanova to compete as a neutral athlete in Rio.

Tygart added: “The decision to refuse her entry into the Games is incomprehensible and will undoubtedly deter whistleblowers in the future from coming forward.”

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