IOC vows 'toughest sanctions' after report finds Moscow ran broad doping scheme

Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:11pm EDT
 
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - With the Rio Olympics less than three weeks away, the IOC on Monday promised "the toughest sanctions available" after a report found Moscow had concealed hundreds of positive doping tests in many sports ahead of the Sochi winter Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) did not spell out whether it would heed growing calls for Olympic bans already imposed on Russia's track and field athletes and weightlifters to be extended to all its competitors in Rio.

However, IOC President Thomas Bach said the independent World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigation had revealed "a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport and on the Olympic Games.

The IOC Executive Board is to hold a telephone conference on Tuesday to take its first decisions, which may include provisional measures and sanctions with regard to the Rio Olympics.

"Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organization implicated."

WADA itself explicitly urged the IOC to consider banning Russia from the Rio Olympics altogether.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who staked his reputation on the Sochi Games, the costliest in history, said the WADA-backed report was the result of political interference and that the Olympic movement could now split.

The report confirmed allegations made by Grigory Rodchenkov, former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory.   Continued...

 
Russia's team members march during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games February 7, 2014.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder