News 12th November 2015

Bach backs independence of anti-doping from sport

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told delegates at the SportAccord Convention in Lausanne that anti-doping should be completely independent of sport. “I would like to refer to a decision we took at the Olympic Summit a couple of weeks ago”, said Bach (pictured), reported Inside the Games. “This is more important than ever. We should make more effort than ever to make the whole anti-doping system independent, including sanctioning. We should make it independent to spread the good news that we have nothing to hide.”

Bach was referring to a 15 October resolution made at an Olympic Summit in Lausanne. ‘The Summit, following recommendation 15 of Olympic Agenda 2020, decided to make anti-doping testing independent from sports organisation’, it read. ‘The Summit requested WADA to study taking responsibility for testing as the global centre of competence in anti-doping. This study is to be undertaken by a working group established by WADA and comprising the stakeholders of the Olympic Movement as well as representatives of governments.’

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Executive Committee is due to meet on 17 November in Colorado Springs to discuss how this will take place, followed by a meeting of the Foundation Board a day later, which will consider the recommendations of the WADA Independent Commission report that apply to WADA. The report found that the IAAF and ARAF had conspired to hide doping in Russian athletics. As reported by the Sports Integrity Initiative, the IAAF has given the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) until Friday to provide a “full and comprehensive response” to the findings of the report.

Bach also confirmed to media in Lausanne that due to the pyramidal structure of sport, the IOC cannot ban Russia from the Olympic Games – it can only exclude the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Under Article 3.3 of a bye-law to Rule 45 of the Olympic Charter, the IOC has the right to ‘exclude from the [Olympic] programme any sport, at any time, if the relevant IF governing such sport does not comply with the Olympic Charter or the World Anti-Doping Code’. “The IAAF has informed us they will take the necessary measures”, said Bach, reported Sky Sports. “I am very positive that these measures will go in the right direction. That means to protect clean athletes.”

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