Sun, Jul 24, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Russia faces ban from Olympics, Paralympics


Russia on Friday made a last-ditch bid to avoid a blanket ban at the Rio Games over state-run doping, as a fresh batch of drug test failures from Beijing 2008 and London 2012 rocked the Olympics. However, as they launched a desperate rearguard action, the International Paralympic Federation (IPF) announced they were seeking a suspension that would sideline Russia from the Paralympics in Rio in September.

The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) executive board are to hold a conference call today to discuss barring Russia from the Olympics, which starts on Aug. 5, over bombshell doping revelations.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday rejected an appeal by Russia’s track and field team against their suspension from Rio in a decision seen as a key indicator as the IOC debates whether to kick out the whole Russian team.

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said that in light of this week’s McLaren report, it expected to announce a decision on whether it would suspend Russia in the week commencing Aug. 1.

The IPC said they have been provided with the names of the Paralympic athletes associated with 35 “disappearing positive samples” from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory that were highlighted in McLaren’s report.

They are also sending 19 samples from the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games held in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi for immediate further analysis, after they were identified as having been potentially doctored as part of a sample-swapping regime.

The Paralympics take place in Rio from Sept. 7 to Sept. 18.

“The McLaren report revealed an unimaginable scale of institutionalized doping in Russian sport that was orchestrated at the highest level. McLaren’s findings are of serious concern for everyone committed to clean and honest sport,” IPC president Philip Craven said.

Against a backdrop of the doping scandal engulfing Russia, the IOC on Friday reported separately 45 new doping failures from the past two Games, bringing the total number of positive drug tests to 98 since a retesting program was launched. The IOC has reanalyzed more than 1,200 samples, focusing on medal winners, in a bid to clean up the Olympics’ reputation.

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