Rio 2016: Russia Planning Legal Action over Olympic Ban


Russia plans to take legal action over this month’s WADA report accusing the country of running a state-sponsored sports doping program.

The accusations made in a World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren have led to more than 100 Russian athletes being barred from the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games which start on Friday.

“We will analyse each line and proceed legally against it,” Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko said yesterday on Russian sports television channel Match TV.

Mutko has vehemently denied the accusations but McLaren has said he has unwavering confidence in his findings, which include evidence of the Russian secret service the FSB being involved in covering up failed doping tests.

WADA called on all Russians, set to compete at the Rio Games, to be banned but the International Olympic Committee stopped short of a blanket suspension and left it up to individual sports bodies to decide.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) is the latest to act, banning all Russian weightlifters last Friday from participating in the Games. The IWF said on its website that the multiple documented cases of doping among Russian weightlifters was shocking and disappointing and had damaged the integrity of the sport. It said the eight positions reserved for Russians had been offered to other weightlifters.

Most other sports federations have banned Russians with previous doping convictions and those named in McLaren’s report but have permitted those seen as clean to go to Rio. A separate doping report last year led to the entire Russian-based track and field team being barred from Rio. Banned athletes plan to sue the authorities after the Olympics are over on August 21, Mutko added.