Calls to ban Russia from Rio Games after doping report

Athletes and anti-doping experts are calling for Russia to be banned from the Rio Games after a report uncovered drug-related cheating.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is appealing to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) "to consider, under their respective charters, to decline entries for Rio 2016 of all athletes" submitted by the Russian authorities.

The move comes after an 103-page report by Canadian law professor Richard McLaren revealed the complicity of the Russian Sports Ministry in the doping of athletes.

The doping sabotaged fair competition at several major events, including London 2012 and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

WADA president and IOC vice-president Sir Craig Reedie called for the "strongest possible measures" to be imposed "to protect clean sport for Rio 2016 and beyond".

Former Olympic cross-country skiing champion, Beckie Scott, chair of WADA's athletes commission said the report was "deeply shocking".

Major events like Sochi were sabotaged by doping. Credit: PA

However, IOC president Thomas Bach, has previously been reluctant to discuss collective punishments for Russia.

He issued a statement on Monday to say he wants to carefully study the report but he has called for an urgent meeting of his executive board on Tuesday.

"The IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organisation implicated," Bach added.

Sir Philip Craven, Bach's counterpart at the IPC, said: "The findings of the McLaren report mark a very dark day for sport."

As the Russian Olympic Committee have appealed an earlier decision by the International Association of Athletics Federations to uphold November's ban on the track and field team, it is likely the IOC and IPC will wait until the Court of Arbitration for Sport has made its ruling later this week.

WADA's executive committee made other recommendations apart from the request to withdraw the invitations to compete in Rio.

These include:

  • banning Russian government officials from international sports events

  • maintaining the suspensions of the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and Russian anti-doping agency

  • asking the international federations of the sports mentioned in McLaren's report to consider following the IAAF lead by banning their Russian member associations

  • that FIFA investigate Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko's involvement in the doping scam

  • for McLaren and his team of investigators to be given more time to complete their work which is based on just 57 "intense" days

The report recommends that FIFA investigates Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko's involvement in the doping scam. Credit: Reuters

Mutko is also the president of the Russian FA, a member of FIFA's council and the chairman of the organising committee for the 2018 World Cup.

His deputy Yuri Nagornykh, appointed by Russian president Vladimir Putin in 2010, is described by McLaren as the doping programme's main decision-maker.

The report also implicates Mutko's closest advisor Natalia Zhelanova suggesting it was "inconceivable" he was unaware of what was going on.

McLaren was asked to compile the report after the New York Times printed an interview in May with the former director of the Moscow lab, Grigory Rodchenkov.

Rodchenkov, now in hiding in the US said, under direct control from the Russian Sports Ministry, he worked out a new cocktail of steroids to give athletes and established a system to cover up positive samples.

Putin has claimed the report is based on "the testimony of one man with a scandalous reputation" and questioned whether McLaren's findings can be "trustworthy".