After Sochi build, anti-doping fix is child's play: Pound

Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:06pm EST
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By Steve Keating

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (Reuters) - If Russia could build Sochi in seven years to host the 2014 Winter Games, they can fix their doping problems in nine months and compete at the Rio Olympics, former WADA chief Dick Pound said on Tuesday.

The International Association of Athletics Federation banned Russia from the sport last week after a stunning report by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) independent commission, led by Pound, had detailed alleged unprecedented doping offences.

The explosive report accused Russia's state security services of colluding with the country's athletics federation to enable athletes to freely dope with confidence that test results would be suppressed.

The report also uncovered evidence of the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs in Russian athletics and allegations of corruption and collusion by Russian and IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) officials.

Despite damning evidence and calls to have Russian athletes barred from the track and field competition in Rio, Pound made it clear there was a road back to the 2016 Summer Games for Russia if officials there made the necessary changes.

After spending $51 billion and moving mountains to transform Sochi into a glittering Olympic venue for the 2014 Winter Games, Pound felt that tearing down and rebuilding the country's corrupt anti-doping program should be a straightforward task.

"Russia built Sochi in seven years so this is child's play," said Pound, after briefing the WADA executive committee on his commission's findings and recommendations.

"All you need is some direction from the political authorities and say, "look, RUSADA (Russia Anti-Doping Agency) is independent and the lab is independent and anybody who doesn't make that happen is in trouble'.   Continued...

A view through a fence, decorated with the Olympic rings, shows a building of the federal state budgetary institution "Federal scientific centre of physical culture and sports", which houses a laboratory accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), in Moscow, Russia, November 11, 2015.  REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin