Int’l Olympic Committee Explores Options for Collective Ban of Russian Athletes

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The International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday it is exploring legal options with regard to a collective ban of all Russian athletes at the Rio Olympics.

It will weigh the ban “versus the right to individual justice,” the IOC said in a statement. The IOC will also take into consideration the ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding the IAAF’s ban of Russian track and field athletes.

A day after the McLaren report uncovered widespread doping of Russian athletes during the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, the IOC also said it would investigate and initiate reanalysis for all Russian athletes who competed in Sochi.

The Rio Olympics open on Aug. 5.

The World Anti-Doping Agency on Monday released the results of an investigation into further doping allegations in Russia. Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren led the investigation, which substantiated allegations of doping and covering up of tests by swapping out urine samples at the Sochi Olympics and exposed a greater and more widespread cover-up of doping by Russian athletes in the country.

The McLaren report revealed a system, which it termed Disappearing Positive Methodology, which involved the Ministry of Sport, Center of Sports Preparation of the National Teams of Russia (CSP), the Federal Security Service (FSB) and labs in Moscow and Sochi working to cover up tests of doped Russian athletes from 2011 until August 2015.

That time period included the London and Sochi Olympics, as well as world championships for track and field and swimming that Russia hosted.

The report revealed top Russian officials were involved in the process, with deputy sports minister Yury Nagornykh serving as the decider for which tests would be covered up and which would be processed normally. Nagornykh is a member of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC).

The report identified Irina Rodionova, currently the deputy director of the CSP and a staff member for the ROC during the London and Sochi Olympics, as coordinating the development of a clean urine bank to swap out samples.

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SOURCE: Rachel Axon
USA TODAY Sports