Russia braced for blanket Olympic ban over doping with athletes set to be frozen out and nation prevented from hosting major international events
- WADA are expected to order a blanket ban on Russian athletes competing
- The ban will also stop Russia hosting or competing in major international events
- Russia’s own anti-doping agency head, Yuri Ganus, admits he fears the worst
- A majority on WADA’s influential athletes’ committee want tougher action
The World Anti-Doping Agency are expected to order a blanket ban on Russian athletes competing at the Olympics as well as preventing them from hosting or competing in major international events.
Even Russia’s own anti-doping agency head, Yuri Ganus, has admitted he fears the worst after discovering that thousands of entries on a key database of athletes’ test results had been doctored despite his calls to come clean.
‘They (the sanctions) are to be expected and they are justified,’ Ganus said. ‘It’s a real tragedy for our sport.’
Russia’s own anti-doping agency head Yuri Ganus fears a ban will be implemented for doping
The International Olympic Committee have said they would be willing to allow Russian athletes who can prove they are clean to compete under a neutral flag, as at last year’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
But a majority on WADA’s influential athletes’ committee want tougher action which would rule out Russian participation at Tokyo next summer and the Winter Olympics in Beijing in 2022.
In a joint statement, nine members of the 17-strong group, including chair Beckie Scott, and British former Paralympian Vicki Aggar, said such a step was ‘the only meaningful sanction’.
WADA president Craig Reedie (right) has revealed ‘very compelling evidence’ has come to light
‘We maintain that the fraud, manipulation and deception revealed to date will only be encouraged and perpetuated with a lesser response.
‘Until these critical abuses of integrity in sport are confronted with courage and a resolute commitment to protect athletes and clean sport, they will continue, and the sports we love remain tarnished.’
WADA president Craig Reedie said: ‘The intelligence and investigations team have produced very compelling evidence that there was manipulation and deletion of items of data.
‘Having extracted the data and done all the work on it, it’s very disappointing to discover someone had tampered with it.’