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  • Putin in Doping Denial as IOC Crackdown Begins


    (ATR) Twenty-eight Russian athletes are now facing disciplinary proceedings from the International Olympic Committee following Sochi 2014 doping retests.

    IOC president Thomas Bach (IOC)
    The IOC provided 95 athlete urine samples from the Winter Olympics to Richard McLaren who in his investigation found evidence of manipulation by Russian authorities.

    These 28 athletes are likely to face official sanctions and harsher punishments by the IOC in 2017 as it continues to delve into the depths of the Russian doping conspiracy. IOC president Thomas Bach has recently called for life bans for those found to have benefited from such a widespread doping program.

    “The IOC will go beyond the findings of the IP Report by re-analyzing all the samples of all the Russian athletes who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 as well as all those who participated in the Olympic Games London 2012,” Bach said in a statement.

    On the same day the IOC begins its initial disciplinary proceedings, Russia President Vladimir Putin denied the allegations by former Moscow anti-doping laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov which spurred the initial McLaren investigation.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin (ATR)
    "In this area transparency is absolutely essential,” Putin told reporters during his four-hour end of the year news conference Friday. “Undoubtedly there is a certain political element in all these issues.

    “Sport should be cleansed, along with culture, of any sort of politics. Sport and culture are things that should unite people and not divide them."

    McLaren found clear evidence that urine samples collected from Russian athletes had been tampered with and replaced with clean samples during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Part two of his investigation released on Dec. 9 revealed that doping programs were in full operation dating as far back as 2011.

    The IOC refused a complete ban of Russian athletes at the Rio 2016 Olympics, leaving the decision up to each International Federation on a case by case basis. The latest revelations may put more pressure on the IOC to impose a harsher punishment on Russian sport as the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games approach.

    Although he claims Rodchenkov forced the athletes to participate in the doping program, Putin acknowledges that Russia will work with the IOC and the World Anti-Doping Agency to get back in the good graces of the Olympic Movement.

    The IOC has thus far sanctioned 27 Russian athletes from doping retests from Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Several more sanctions are expected to follow in 2017 as the IOC continues its London 2012 and Sochi 2014 retests. The IOC will also retest samples from Vancouver 2010 to further examine the depth of the corruption.

    Written by Kevin Nutley

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