President Vladimir Putin said many of Russias athletes, including in track-and-field, are being unfairly banned from the Olympics over a doping scandal because theres no evidence against them of wrong-doing.
We cant accept the indiscriminate disqualification of our athletes with perfectly, I want to stress this, perfectly clean doping histories, Putin said Wednesday at a Kremlin meeting with members of the Russian Olympic squad, including some barred from video games in Rio de Janeiro. The doping controversy exceeded legal binds and common sense, causing undeserved suffering for some on the team, he said.
Russias track-and-field team is being penalise collectively for the actions of less responsible sportsmen who broke the rules and squad members were banned without proof against them, pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva told Putin. She shed tears during the meeting as she told him that athletes dreams have been taken away.
More than 100 Russian athletes, including the track-and-field squad, have been banned so far out of 367 candidates submitted to the governing the organizations of individual athletics federations for video games that begin Aug. 5. The bodies are deciding after the International Olympic Committee on Sunday stopped short of imposing a complete ban on Russias entrants following an independent report that exposed a massive state-backed doping program. Putin complained after the doping report was published July 18 that athletic was being turned into a tool of geopolitical pressure.
The IOC ruled that Russian athletes can compete in Rio only if they are able to provide evidence to the full gratification of his or her international federation that anti-doping requirements set out in dependable adequate international tests have been met. Russian tests were deemed invalid, according to a statement by the Lausanne, Switzerland-based organization.
While its unclear how many Russians will be allowed to compete in Rio and it wont be easy for those who do go, we believe in you and wish you success, Putin told the team. Short-sighted politicians havent left athletic in peace, though rivalry is meant to bring people and nations together, he said.
Putin has tried to frame the doping scandal in the context of Russias tensions with the West following the 2014 annexation of Crimea and the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine, which erupted weeks after he triumphantly hosted the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The report by Richard McLaren, which was commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency( WADA ), found that the Russian Ministry of Sport directed, controlled and oversaw the manipulation of athletes test is submitted in accordance with 2011 to 2015. The systematic strategy included endeavours by the Federal Security Service, the countrys main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, to swap out athletes positive urine samples at the Sochi games, it said.
The IOC has ordered a full inquiry into all Russian athletes who competed in Sochi. Putin personally supervised preparations for the $50 billion games, the most expensive in Olympic history, and Russia took first place with 33 medals, including 13 golds.
The McLaren report found that the doping program was developed after the Russian team finished 11 th at the 2010 games in Vancouver, its worst performance since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its inconceivable that Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko was unaware of the efforts to hide positive doping results for athletes, McLaren told reporters at a press conference in Toronto.
Putin last week ordered the establishment of a new anti-doping committee, headed by Vitaly Smirnov, a former Soviet athletics official. Mutko has suspended his deputy who was identified in the report as running the doping program, and said Russias ready to change its doping system jointly with WADA.
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