IOC could strip medals from alleged Russian dope cheats, but no reason to doubt Sochi 2014 tests

© Aly Song
Following the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) report on Russia’s doping violations, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it could strip medals from the alleged cheats, but said there was "no reason" to doubt the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics tests.

LIVE UPDATES: WADA calls for Russian athletes ban over doping allegations

The IOC asked the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to start disciplinary actions against “all coaches and officials who have participated in the Olympic Games and are accused of doping in the report,” it said in an official statement published on Tuesday.

Based on the results of the IAAF investigation, the IOC will take “all necessary measures” towards the alleged cheaters that could include withdrawal of medals as well as exclusion of coaches and officials from future Olympic Games, the statement adds.

However, the IOC has said it had “no reason to question the credibility of the results of the anti-doping tests carried out at the Olympic Winter Games 2014,” as neither the WADA report, nor the WADA independent observer group at the games has made any mention of any documented irregularities linked to the Sochi 2014 Olympics.

However, the IOC also stressed it would retest the 2014 Olympics doping samples “in an appropriate way should substantial doubts arise.”

Meanwhile, the Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said he believed it would be inconceivable for Russia’s athletics teams not to take part in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“I would not like to consider such option. We have young sportsmen, for whom it will be their first Olympics… Clean sportsmen should not suffer, they achieve their results by hard work… we must protect them,” Mutko told TASS.

The Russian sports minister also said that he consulted the presidents of WADA and the IAAF. Mutko mentioned that Russian sport would overcome all the obstacles and cope with the crisis that broke out after the country’s athletes, coaches and officials were accused of mass doping violations.

“We have done great work over the past years and we have never let the international organizations down. 2-3 percent of cheaters should not cast a shadow over all Russia’s athletes,” Mutko said adding that the Russian Athletics Federation (VFLA) will present its findings regarding the doping allegations to the IAAF.

Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) will also “answer all the questions” and undergo re-attestation, Mutko stressed, adding that he had no doubts that both VFLA and RUSADA would improve their work and “everything will get back to normal.”

The Russian sports minister emphasized that it was not correct to question the actions of an entire state and blame it for doping problems “after every media publication.” He added that more than 2,000 Russian sportsmen were included into the international pool and were controlled by international organizations.

The head of the Moscow WADA-accredited laboratory, Grigory Rodchenkov, resigned after the anti-doping agency suspended its work on Tuesday, the Russian sports minister said.

WADA’s disciplinary committee is expected to make a decision concerning the status of the laboratory and whether to revoke its license within days.

“The WADA commission has proposed to create a disciplinary commission and conduct a fast-track re-attestation. The same procedure was carried out before the Sochi 2014 Olympics. I see no problem here,” Mutko said, as quoted by TASS.

“Rodchenkov is an experienced specialist. He prepared a report for WADA detailing the [Moscow] laboratory’s work over the last years before he resigned,” Mutko added, stressing that the Russian side was ready to coordinate the approval of the new laboratory chief so that he could pass the attestation and comply with all the requirements.

The director of RUSADA Nikita Kamaev told a press conference that the alleged involvement of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in the doping cover-ups is a complete lie.

“This is nonsense,” he said, adding that such assumptions belong to the “early James Bond era.”

Kamaev mentioned that despite the suspension of the Moscow laboratory, RUSADA was still functioning and had “completely complied with WADA’s requirements.” He also said that the agency was preparing a detailed answer to all the allegations laid against it in WADA’s report, which he denounced as “biased.”

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