BOA BACKS STRONGEST ACTION AGAINST RUSSIA
11th December 2019
Last modified on December 27th, 2019
The British Olympic Association says Russia should not compete at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in all but name.
The BOA has called for the strongest possible action against Russia after the World Anti Doping Authority imposed a 4-year ban on Russia at major sporting events.
However the World Anti-Doping Agency said that they would allow Russian athletes to compete as neutrals.
“At the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games Team GB athletes competed against a Russian team in all but name – this should not happen again,” said Sir Hugh Robertson, Chair of the BOA.
“Our concern is that even after the sanctions in PyeongChang, Russia continued to manipulate data and with it the outcome of sport. They have shown no contrition or respect for the Olympic Movement and its athletes.”
“For three consecutive Olympic Games the matter of systemic doping of athletes by Russia has hung like a dark cloud over the entire Olympic Movement.”
This week Russia has been handed a four-year ban from all major sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA.
It means the Russia flag and anthem will not be allowed at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Athletes who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.
A total of 168 Russian athletes competed under a neutral flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after the country was banned following the 2014 Winter Games that it hosted in Sochi.
Russia operated a state-sponsored doping programme for four years across the “vast majority” of summer and winter Olympic sports.
Russia has 21 days to appeal against the ban.
“Despite previous sanctions, including athletes competing under a neutral flag in PyeongChang, Russia has continued to deny clean athletes around the world the ability to compete fairly and with any confidence in the systems designed to protect them,” said the BOA Athletes’ Commission Chair, Ben Hawes.
“We echo the calls for stronger, robust and enforceable sanctions. If our athletes are to compete against athletes from Russia under a neutral flag they need to do so with undeniable proof that they are clean and not implicated with anything that brings the Olympic Movement into question or disrepute.”
International Ski Federation
Meanwhile the International Ski Federation, FIS, has issued its response.
“FIS acknowledges the decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee declaring RUSADA’s non-compliance and will review the sanctions in view of taking the defined steps in line with the obligations of FIS as a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code.
“As emphasised by the Olympic Summit the sanctions should follow the rules of natural justice and respect human rights.”
FIS currently has no World Championships awarded to Russia.
However Russia is bidding to host the FIS Freestyle Ski, Snowboard and Freeski World Championships in 2025.
“FIS is committed to ensuring that the rights of innocent Russian athletes are protected, as also underlined by WADA in its decision and the new generation can demonstrate a clean doping-free future for Russian sport.”