WADA to demand 'serious' action if new report shows widespread Russian doping

Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:24pm EDT
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By Adrian Warner

LONDON (Reuters) - World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) chiefs said on Monday that they would call for “serious” action against Russia before the Rio Olympics in August if a new investigation next month shows evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping.

The Russian team has already been suspended from the athletics events in Rio because of doping allegations in track and field.

But WADA has set up another investigation under Canadian law professor Richard McLaren to probe allegations of state-backed doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

WADA President Craig Reedie said the McLaren investigation would make its findings public before July 15 at the latest.

If it shows evidence of widespread state-run cheating across many sports, the British official said it would be a moment for a “precedent-setting opportunity.”

Reedie would not confirm that WADA would definitely call for a total ban on the country but he told Reuters: “If it comes back like that, we have to say something serious.”

“In the coming weeks, we will learn the outcomes of our independent McClaren investigation. If his report indicates transgressions of any kind, then there will be a precedent-setting opportunity to demonstrate our collective commitment to cleaning up sport. The world will be watching.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is due to discuss Russian’s athletics suspension, which has been imposed by the sport’s governing body (IAAF), at a special summit in Switzerland on Tuesday.   Continued...

A woman walks into the head office for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on November 9, 2015.  REUTERS/Christinne Muschi/File Photo