Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has decided to ban Russia from participation at the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, provided for participation by athletes who meet strict criteria and applied other significant penalties. The Board of Directors of the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) applauds these IOC decisions. In August 2017, the iNADO Board urged the IOC to make this decision with a principled approach.1
It is apparent that they have applied those principles. By excluding the Russian Olympic Committee from the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games, the IOC has made a proportionate response to the evidence first revealed by Professor McLaren and confirmed by the Oswald and Schmid Commissions. It has, finally, sent a strong signal that the Olympic Movement puts clean sport first.
Individual Russian athletes can only compete in PyeongChang as “Olympic Athletes from Russia” independent of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC). It is important that the panel established to select those athletes can be seen to be independent and applies strict objective criteria.
We all want Russia to participate in international sport. We all want clean Russian athletes to be lining up under their own flag against competitors from other countries. iNADO’s Members are not against Russia; they are against cheating.
It is not clear what may happen beyond the PyeongChang Games but the criteria which would open the door to future Russian participation has been set out clearly in the WADA “Road Map” and it remains for Russia to meet those conditions. The full support of the IOC will be important in ensuring that this occurs including incorporating this element into any consideration for reinstatement of the ROC.
A strong and independent Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) is an essential part of the solution. Russian athletes deserve no less, their competitors just as much. iNADO has and will continue to support the new RUSADA and its management. There has been an enormous effort by the World Anti-Doping Agency, UK Anti-Doping and others to rebuild RUSADA and they too have borne enormous costs. Progress by the new RUSADA has been good; the signs are promising.
But if Russian authorities do not acknowledge the institutionalised doping now so clearly established it is difficult to believe Russia will rehabilitate itself. There is a real potential that the investment in the new RUSADA will be wasted.
iNADO notes the pivotal roles that Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov, Hajo Seppelt and Grigory Rodchenkov have played in reaching this point. iNADO reiterates its support for what is a brave decision taken by the IOC in the face of enormous pressure.
• This media release was originally published by the Institute for National Anti-Dopng Organisations (iNADO) on 6 December 2017. To access the original, please click here.
1. Principles which the iNADO Board articulated in August 2017.
• Denunciation of organised doping and subversion of anti-doping in Russia that is clear, unequivocal and forceful, and that re-establishes the IOC as a leader in protecting clean sport and clean athletes. The magnitude of the failures in Russia must be recognised.
• Punishment that is proportionate with the facts and especially mindful of the harm to clean athletes, dozens of whom lost the opportunity to compete or to have their rightful moment on the podium to dirty Russian athletes over many years and many major competitions. The consequences must be commensurate with the damage caused to clean athletes from around the world (including those clean Russian athletes failed by their sport system and its leaders).
• Reparation of the damage done to anti-doping, to clean athletes and to the image of Olympic competition.
• Consequences targeted to individuals and bodies that bear true responsibility whether through acts of commission or failures of duty.
• Application of the principles of the 2016 decisions (and more recent ones) of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and on the decision-making of the International Association of Athletics Federations and the International Paralympic Committee with respect to their Russian member federations.
• Continued oversight for individuals and bodies responsible for sport and for anti-doping in Russia to ensure organised doping and subversion of anti-doping is eradicated and cannot reoccur.
• Deterrence that will ensure such gross subversion of anti-doping and of clean sport will not happen again in Russia, or in other countries now or in the future. The IOC’s measures must contribute to restoring a level playing field for the present and the future, affect future behavioural change in Russia and elsewhere, and restore public trust in clean competition.
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