IOC wants Russia’s drug cheat athletes stripped of medals

Nikita Kamaev, managing director of Russian anti-doping agency faces the press yesterday. Picture: AP
Nikita Kamaev, managing director of Russian anti-doping agency faces the press yesterday. Picture: AP
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THE International Olympic Committee is calling for disciplinary action to be taken against athletes accused of using drugs in the biggest doping scandal for a generation.

Disciplinary action could take the form of sanctions and the stripping of medals.

The calls come after a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said Russia should be banned from competitive athletics for operating a “state-supported” doping scheme.

In a statement, the IOC said: “With its zero-tolerance policy against doping, the IOC will take all the necessary measures and sanctions with regard to the withdrawal and reallocation of medals. And as the case may be exclusion of coaches and officials from future Olympic Games.”

The IOC has also provisionally suspended Lamine Diack as an honorary member after the former IAAF president was placed under investigation in France on corruption charges linked to the cover-up of Russian doping cases.

Former Olympic champion Lord Coe was elected president of the IAAF earlier this year, but he has faced mounting calls to explain how much he knew about doping and corruption.

He said he was determined to tackle the crisis, and would back his “instincts” to rebuild the reputation of the sport.

Russia’s drug-testing laboratory in Moscow has been provisionally suspended and the country also faces calls for it to be stripped of an IAAF contest in 2016 as pressure mounts over the latest findings.

WADA has suspended accreditation of the laboratory pending a disciplinary hearing after an independent commission revealed that 1,417 samples were deliberately destroyed on the orders of the lab’s director.

Russia is facing a ban from the Rio 2016 Olympics, and UK Athletics chairman Ed Warner says the country should be banned from international athletics competitions and stripped of hosting next year’s World Junior Championships in Kazan.

Mr Warner said: “I am all for suspension until the systems in Russia are proved to be robust.

“If you suspend the Russian athletics federation you then have to remove the World Junior Championships – cancel them and take them elsewhere.

“The worst thing would be for Russia to turn up at the World Indoor Championships in Oregon in March or to host the juniors and we find out that nothing has changed.”

Richard Pound, chairman of the independent commission, said Russia should be banned from next year’s Olympics and that there is suspicion over some of the performances that saw it scoop 82 medals at the London 2012 Games.

Mr Warner, who is also chairman of the organising committee for the 2017 World Championships in London, added: “The sadness for London 2012 is for those clean athletes who missed out on a final or a medal because someone else was doping – they will go around for the rest of their lives feeling cheated.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov has insisted there was no evidence WADA’s findings.

He said: “There is no evidence so it is difficult to consider the accusations, which appear rather unfounded.”

The Russian athletics federation insists it is committed to fighting against doping.