Olympic governing body released a statement backing McLarens work and has pledged two commissions to investigate evidence
The International Olympic Committee has extended international sanctions it imposed on Russia in the summer until further notification as the sporting world waits for the publication of a landmark report into the countrys recent doping history on Friday.
The IOC announcement was made on the same day it emerged that Yelena Isinbayeva, the Russian doubled Olympic pole vault champion, will take charge of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency supervisory board in a move that will cause some alarm within the global anti-doping community.
Isinbayeva said: I am grateful to my colleagues for the trust vested in me.
In July the IOCs executive board announced a series of provisional measures when Richard McLaren released an interim version of his report into state-sponsored doping in Russia. Those measures included a ban on Olympic accreditation for officials from Russias ministry of athletic, the removal of IOC patronage to any sports event in Russia, the reanalysis of every Russian sample from the 2014 Winter Olympics and a request to all sports federations to freeze their preparations for important events in the country.
Enforcement of that freeze, however, has been patchy, with several wintertime athletic federations still scheduled to stage important events in Russia this wintertime and beyond.
That, however, could change if McLarens final report is as damning as expected when it is released online on Friday.
In a statement released after the second day of a three-day assemble of the IOCs executive board in Lausanne, Olympic bosses described the allegations against Russia as a fundamental attack on the integrity of the Games and thanked McLaren for his work. It also rephrased its reasons for setting up two commissions to respond to McLarens evidence.
In order for the competent bodies, including the International Olympic Committee, to depicts the relevant conclusions, due process now has to be followed, the IOC statement said.
The evidence provided by Professor McLaren in his investigation has to be evaluated, and those implicated have to be given the right to be heard. This includes the athletes, the Russian ministry of athletic, and other implicated persons and organisations.
Once all the evidence has been considered, the IOC executive board will then issue the appropriate measures and sanctions related to the Olympic Games.
The IOC executive board has further decided to extend the provisional measures taken on 19 July 2016 against Russia until further notice.
The first of those commissions, the so-called committee of inquiry, is now being presided over by the former Swiss legislator Samuel Schmid, after the French magistrate Guy Canivet surprisingly pulled out on Tuesday for what the IOC described as personal reasons.
This commission will address the claims that Russia operated a state-sponsored doping system between 2010 and 2015, with particular regard to Sochi 2014.
The disciplinary commission, led by the veteran Swiss IOC member Denis Oswald, will look at how anti-doping samples were manipulated in the build-up to and during the course of its Winter Games.
Both commissions have been in contact with McLaren and the IOC said it has given the professor full access to the anti-doping samples it has stored from Sochi.
Meanwhile, Isinbayeva will chair the nine-strong panel as relevant agencies continues its efforts to convince the World Anti-Doping Agency it is once again fit for intent, having been suspended a year ago. But the 34 -year-old former pole vault champ, who retired from rivalry in August when Russia was blocked from sending an athletics team to the Rio Olympics, has been ferociously critical of Wadas stance against the country, saying its claims of endemic and state-sponsored doping are unfounded. She has also called for Yuliya Stepanova to be banned for life after the Russian 800 metres runner became a whistle-blower and fled the country.
In a Rusada statement issued to the Russian media, Isinbayeva said: I am grateful to my colleagues for the trust vested in me. We are all well aware the fight against doping is the key issue today … and the effectiveness of this fight in Russia will depend on how soon Rusada is reinstated. This is our main task and we will exert maximum efforts to achieve it.
Isinbayeva has never failed a drugs exam and in August was elected to the IOCs athletes commission, devoting her a big ambassadorial role for Russian athletic. The three-time world champ is also the favourite to become the president of Russias athletics federation when it choice a new leader in Moscow on Friday. The federation has also been banned since November 2015.
That vote, however, is likely to be overshadowed by the publication in London of the final report into Russias recent doping history by McLaren. It was his interim report in July that eventually aimed Isinbayevas chances of a third Olympic title and many are expecting his final assessment to make Russian sports chances of an early rehabilitation more difficult.
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