IOC chief Bach's action on Russia cements legacy: athletes

Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:16pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

(Reuters) - Thomas Bach's response to a report that found Russia concealed hundreds of positive doping tests ahead of the Sochi Winter Games will determine his legacy as International Olympic Committee president, athletes leaders said on Monday.

The IOC promised the "toughest sanctions available" following the release of the report, which revealed evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping by Russian athletes.

IOC Athletes Commission member Adam Pengilly, a British skeleton racer, urged Bach to follow the recommendation of the WADA report and ban all Russian competitors from the Rio Olympics.

"I call upon the leadership of the IOC to follow up on the recommendations and enact it, and not exploit technicalities," he said in a conference call on Monday featuring members of the WADA Athletes Commission and IOC athletes group.

"Step up and do what's right."

Pengilly said the IOC would lose credibility if it failed to do so.

"I think the world at large will look at us," he said. "The IOC is regarded as the custodians of the Olympic movement.

"Only time will tell. But it may be a significant part of the history of the IOC, and Thomas Bach as president of the IOC and his time as its leader."   Continued...

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach gives a news conference after the Olympic Summit on doping in Lausanne, Switzerland, June 21, 2016.  REUTERS/Denis Balibouse