MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. Those guilty of manipulating data of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory should be punished in the toughest way possible, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said in a statement, commenting on a report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Compliance Review Committee (CRC).
On Monday, the CRC recommended that the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) be declared non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code and sanctions be imposed on Russian sports. The CRC particularly called for banning the country’s athletes from competing under the Russian flag during the next four years and also banning Russia from hosting international sporting events for the same period. The report is based "on a forensic review of inconsistencies found in some of the data that were obtained by WADA from the Moscow Laboratory in January 2019."
"With regard to the sanctions following this manipulation, we will still have to evaluate these in detail," the statement reads. "The IOC emphasizes that any sanctions should follow the rules of natural justice and respect human rights. Therefore, the IOC stresses that the guilty should be punished in the toughest way possible because of the seriousness of this infringement and thus welcomes the sanctions for the Russian authorities responsible," the IOC added. "However, given the seriousness of the manipulation, we strongly urge WADA to take further action," the statement says.
The IOC also called on the Russian authorities to "deliver the raw data on which this case is based." "This is still a matter of huge importance, since the delivery of any fully authenticated raw data will ensure that full justice can finally be done, and that the guilty can be properly punished and the innocent fully protected. In this way, the shadow of suspicion over the new generation of clean Russian athletes can be removed," the IOC emphasized.
"At the end of this process, we hope that justice will finally prevail and that there will be full and proper sanctions," the International Olympic Committee concluded.
Support for 'clean' Russian athletes
The IOC welcomes the World Anti-Doping Committee (WADA) in its desire to offer an opportunity to clean Russian athletes, the IOC stated.
"We note that the report proves that any manipulation of the data [from the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory — TASS] is the sole responsibility of the Russian authorities," the statement reads.
"At the same time, we also note that the report finds that the sports movement has not been involved in any of this manipulation, and that the report does not indicate any wrongdoing by the sports movement in this regard, in particular the Russian Olympic Committee or its members. In this context, the IOC welcomes the opportunity offered by WADA to Russian athletes to compete, ‘where they are able to demonstrate that they are not implicated in any way by the non-compliance’," the IOC pointed out.
In September 2019, WADA opened a formal compliance procedure against RUSADA based on "inconsistencies" in data of the Moscow Anti-Doping Lab. The WADA Executive Committee is expected to hold a meeting on the issue on December 9.