From Inside the Games

Thomas Bach today sought to shovel blame for the shambles over Russian participation at the Rio 2016 squarely onto the shoulders of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

In an uncharacteristically defensive performance with five days to go before the Olympic Opening Ceremony in the Maracanã, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President was forced to field numerous questions on the issue at his first Rio 2016 media conference.

It was in his first such reply that he unloaded with both barrels at WADA, a body for which the IOC provides approximately half the funding and four of 12 Executive Committee members.

Asked, in the first of several similar interventions, if he accepted the situation regarding Russian participation at Rio 2016 was a “huge failure” for the IOC, Bach offered one of his trademark single-word answers – “No” – before elaborating:

“This is for very obvious reasons.

“Because the IOC is not responsible for the timing of the McLaren report.

“The IOC is not responsible for the fact that different information which was offered to WADA already a couple of years ago was not followed up.

“The IOC is not responsible for the accreditation or supervision of anti-doping laboratories.

“So therefore the IOC cannot be made responsible either for the timing or the reasons of these incidents we have to face now and which we are addressing and have to address now just a couple of days before the Olympic Games.”

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