(ATR) The IOC tells Around the Rings
a delegation traveled to meet with the Russian Olympic Committee to discuss ways to bring trust back to the Russian sports system.
The IOC sent representatives to Moscow to engage ROC leadership on April 5, as part of reintegrating Russia back into the Olympic family. A statement from the ROC said that discussions centered on “priority areas for further cooperation” between the IOC and Russia.
“After lifting the suspension, we agreed to fully review the mutual cooperation, transforming that unfortunate situation in an opportunity for future ways of collaboration,” Pere Miro, IOC deputy director general, said to ATR
. “Our visit to Moscow had as goal to review the situation of ROC, its objectives and priorities to fulfill its duties in line with the Olympic Charter, and to evaluate how the IOC can support them; and in the other way, how the ROC, being one of the most important NOCs in the world, can support other NOCs using the frame of the O.S. [Olympic Solidarity] activities.”
Miro said that ROC officials asked the IOC for help in the “fight against doping” in the country and for help creating educational seminars for young athletes. The ROC is scheduled to host the first educational seminar post-suspension in June for athletes going to the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
The IOC and its Olympic Solidarity program will assist in funding and organizing the seminar.
“These actions, on top of its own value, should contribute to restore the international credibility on the Russian Sport and to normalize its situation in all fields,” Miro added.
Sochi anti-doping lab sign (Getty Images)
The IOC-mandated suspension on the ROC was lifted days after the conclusion of the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. The ROC was suspended due to findings from an IOC commission that showed a “strategic manipulation” of the anti-doping system in the Sochi 2014 lab.
Nearly 170 Russian athletes were allowed to compete at the Games as neutral “Olympic Athletes from Russia” under the rules of the suspension. The delegation competed under the Olympic flag.
The suspension would have been lifted ahead of the PyeongChang Closing Ceremony, but Russian athletes registered two anti-doping rule violations during the Games. Instead the IOC Executive Board ruled that Russia did enough to lift the suspension, so if no more rule violations were found from outstanding PyeongChang samples, the country would be brought into the Olympic fold following the Games. This took place within a week of the closing of the Olympics.
During his closing PyeongChang press conference IOC President Thomas Bach said that future retribution from the ongoing fallout of the Russian doping scandal will be left to the federations.
Even as the IOC works to reintegrate Russia in the Olympic family, the impact of the Russian doping scandal remains ongoing. The International Association of Athletics Federations has criticized Russia for its failure to comply with its reintegration criteria. If Russia does not meet the established criteria by July,
the country could face expulsion from the global athletics family.
Drug testing for the 2018 World Cup in Russia is set to be handled exclusively by FIFA and samples will be analyzed in Switzerland because the ongoing non-compliance of the Russian anti-doping agency.
Written by Aaron Bauer with additional reporting from Mark Bisson.
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