From Inside the Games

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) claims it will support the toughest sanctions possible for those responsible for manipulation of the Moscow Laboratory data, welcoming the opportunity for Russian athletes to compete should they demonstrate they are not implicated by non-compliance.

A statement from the IOC condemned the “flagrant manipulation” as “an attack on the credibility of sport itself and is an insult to the sporting movement worldwide”.

The IOC also noted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) panel’s report did not indicate any wrongdoing by the sports movement in this regard, in particular, the Russian Olympic Committee or its members.

The statement from the IOC followed the publication of recommendations made by the WADA Compliance Review Committee (CRC) to the organisation’s Executive Committee.

WADA’s CRC recommended a four-year sanction against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA), following “an extremely serious case of non-compliance with the requirement to provide an authentic copy of the Moscow data, with several aggravating features”.

The WADA had demanded the Russian Sports Ministry and RUSADA explain “inconsistencies” it found in the data when it opened a compliance procedure against the body, first suspended in 2015 before being reinstated last year, in September.

Russia was ordered to address the differences between the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) database provided by a whistleblower in October 2017 and the version WADA extracted from the facility in January.

The WADA CRC determined the data was “neither complete nor fully authentic” after reports from experts, adding further significant deletions and/or alterations had been made in December 2018 and January 2019.

It was also determined that  fabricated evidence had also been added into the LIMS database to support the argument now being advanced by the Russian authorities that it was Grigory Rodchenkov and two co-conspirators who falsified entries in the Moscow LIMS database.

Should a four-year sanction come into force the sanctions would cover both the 2020 and 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo and Beijing.

“Russian athletes and their support personnel may only participate in major events staged in the four-year period where they are able to demonstrate that they are not implicated in any way by the non-compliance,” the WADA CRC recommendation states.

This would include the athletes not being mentioned in “incriminating circumstances in the McLaren reports, there are no positive findings reported for them in the database, and no data relating to their samples has been manipulated”.

The Russian flag would be prohibited from major events during the four-year period.

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