Anti-doping Organisations Demand Russia Ban from 2018 Winter Olympics

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Seventeen national anti-doping organisations have demanded that Russia is banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Less than five months before the start of the Pyeongchang Games, the group said the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) “refusal to hold Russia accountable for one of the biggest scandals in sports history… imperils clean athletes and the future of the Olympic movement”.

The Nados, which includes the UK and US anti-doping agencies, said the country must be punished “for proven corruption of the Sochi 2014 Games and continuing failure in its obligations to clean sport”.

They also warned they had “serious doubts” that Pyeongchang 2018, which takes place from 9-25 February, would be clean.
Last year, an independent report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of state-sponsored doping in Russia, for which the IOC is yet to decide on sanctions.

Two commissions set up in December have still not concluded, with speculation that Russia could face a heavy fine, escaping a ban.

Canadian law professor Richard McLaren’s 144-page independent study concluded more than 1,000 Russians benefitted from the doping programme across 30 sports.

As a result, WADA recommended all Russian athletes be banned from competing in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

But the IOC chose not to impose a blanket ban, instead leaving decisions on whether Russians could compete to individual sporting federations. In total, 271 Russians competed in Rio.