Athletes welcome WADA report, call for Russia Olympics ban

Athletes have welcomed the outcome of an investigation into state-controlled doping in Russia.

The athlete committee of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said the findings of a WADA investigation were "truly shocking" and that Russia "should be banned" from the Rio Olympics.

The committee, chaired by Canadian cross-country skier Beckie Scott, said it was "deeply upset to read of the unprecedented levels of doping and subversion that have taken place in Russia."

Germany's discus Olympic champion Robert Harting told dpa Tuesday: "I'm so happy. This is an insane success."

He described the result of the investigation as "important for all anti-doping fighters and athletes who largely give up their freedom to join the anti-doping movement."

The athlete committee of the German Olympics sports body DOSB said the International Olympic Committee (IOC) should allow Russian athletes to compete in Rio if they could prove they were not tainted by the doping system.

"Athletes who can prove they are clean should be allowed to start at the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio," a statement said.

It was "just as necessary to identify the individual athletes who have benefited from the doping system in Russia."

The IOC executive board was set to hold a telephone conference Tuesday to decide what steps to take after the publication Monday of the WADA investigation carried out by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren.

Following the report WADA Monday requested "collective sanctions for Rio 2016 and beyond." It recommended the IOC consider excluding all Russian athletes from the Rio Games, which begin on August 5.

However WADA also said the IOC should consider allowing clean Russian athletes to compete under a neutral flag.

In its statement, the WADA athlete committee said: "We would like to highlight our belief that WADA must allow Professor McLaren and his team to continue their investigation, that Russia should be banned from the Rio Olympics, Paralympics, and other international events, and that International Federations must enact sanctions so as to protect clean sport."

Earlier this month, IOC president Thomas Bach told dpa a complete exclusion of Russia from the Olympics in Rio was possible but that it would not be for the IOC to rule on the matter.

"The rules are clear. The international association is responsible for deciding which athletes have permission to compete at the Olympic Games," Bach said.

The IOC on June 21 said that despite a ban by athletics ruling body IAAF on the Russian athletics federation, Russian athletes could compete under their own flag at the Rio Games if they could prove they were clean.

In a reaction to the McLaren report Monday, Bach said the investigation showed "a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games."

He added: "Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated."

The IOC executive board will take "which may include provisional measures and sanctions with regard to the Olympic Games Rio 2016," a statement said.

Last update: Tue, 19/07/2016 - 13:54

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