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IOC conclusions based on testimony by independent witnesses — commission chair

December 06, 1:17 UTC+3 LAUSANNE

Russia's national squad was officially barred from participating in the upcoming Games

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LAUSANNE /Switzerland/, December 6. /TASS /. The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to bar Russian athletes from taking part in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games was based on testimony by independent witnesses, IOC Commission Chair Samuel Schmid said on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, the IOC Executive Board ruled to allow Russia’s clean athletes to take part in the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang in the status of neutral athletes, while the country’s national squad was officially barred from participating in the upcoming Games. The 2018 Winter Olympics will take place on February 5-21.

"Everyone has the right to be heard, both the accused and the witnesses. This is one of differences from the situation with the Rio Games," Schmid told reporters. "The conclusions are not based on the testimony by [former head of Moscow anti-doping lab] mister [Grigory] Rodchenkov, they stem from testimony of impartial nature."

"We relied on facts that were supported by evidence," he continued. "Rodchenkov’s latest statements could be of no use to us, because we were unable to prove their validity."

"We encountered most different comments and facts in statements by professor [Richard] McLaren, which were verified. The analysis in McLaren’s first report was much more profound compared to the second one," the IOC official said.

Last year, the WADA Independent Commission headed by Richard McLaren, released a report summing up the results of an investigation into the alleged violations of anti-doping rules during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games. McLaren cited Rodchenkov, claiming that over 1,000 Russian athletes could have been involved in a manipulation scheme to conceal positive doping tests.

In July 2016, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) set up two commissions to look into the information provided by McLaren. Samuel Schmid’s commission looked into the alleged involvement of Russia’s Sports Ministry in a possible cover-up of doping violations. The other commission, headed by Denis Oswald, is retesting doping samples taken at the 2014 Olympics.

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