WADA's Failure to Recommend a full Russian Ban for Tokyo 2020 falls short of what Athletes and the Public expects
To rebuild trust in Global Anti-Doping Movement, WADA must enforce a full Russian Olympic Committee ban from 2020 Olympic Games.
4 December 2019: Global Athlete and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee Athlete Advisory Council fully support the International Olympic Committee's (IOC’s) call for the toughest sanctions, which according to the International Compliance Standard, would include the complete ban of the entire Russian Olympic Committee and its athletes from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Russia has had so many chances to right their wrongs, they have failed to do that and continue to undermine the integrity of sport. To date, there have been no meaningful consequences for the most flagrant, institutionalized doping scandal of this century. We all know the IOC argument that individual athletes should not suffer due to state doping. However, what the IOC continually has failed to realize is the fact that these athletes will continue to suffer in this type of system if meaningful consequences are not imposed and leadership is not forced to change its ways. Without meaningful action, athletes will never be fostered in a clean sport environment.
Russia needs to be banned from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. Anything less will be a weak response to the largest doping scandal this century. The future young Russian athletes need to have a safe and protective sporting environment. This will only occur when the global regulator, WADA, sets an example that cheating on this scale will never be accepted. A firm sanction is the only way Russia will change its approach to athlete safety and welfare. We need to listen and protect all athletes that have been placed into doping situations and make them a part of the solution in a similar way that was done with Yuliya Stepanova.
The athlete community is also concerned that WADA has not been transparent in making its reports public. The WADA Independent Commission Report (into Athletics) led by Richard Pound and the WADA Independent Person Report led by Richard McLaren (into Russian sport) were made public. Why hasn’t the latest report from the WADA Intelligence and Investigation Team been made public? Athletes expect transparency to be at the heart of the anti-doping movement, and they expect it to be at the heart of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
This failure to implement the strongest sanction is yet another example of why the Rodchenkov Act is so critical to the future survival of the fight against doping in sport.
The Athletes have indicated:
“The IOC found itself woefully out of touch with the views of the athlete community and the public in failing to recommend strong action against the Russian Olympic Committee ahead of Rio 2016 and Pyeongchang 2018. While we all welcome this new-found strong language from the IOC, it’s important to stress that there can be no more public relations campaigns and no more empty promises – it’s time for action. Athletes are looking for strong leadership to ensure an example is set that will deter such behavior in the future,” said Ali Jawad, Rio 2016 Para-Powerlifting Silver Medalist.
"It is essential to hold nations and institutions accountable for the systemic cheating and abuse of athletes that we have seen in Russia. Compromising the integrity of sport and the health and well-being of athletes is unacceptable. WADA and the IOC must show through firm and decisive action that they are serious not only about the integrity and credibility of sport, but also about keeping athletes safe." said Han Xiao, World Championship Table Tennis Player and Chair of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee Athlete Advisory Council.
“The Olympic Movement has 50% of the seats around the WADA decision-making table, As a result we look forward to your members not only supporting the Compliance Review Committee recommendations but also demanding the highest possible sanction.” said Olympic Cross Country Skier, Noah Hoffman.
“It’s time to rebuild trust in the anti-doping movement. It’s time to ensure stakeholders are held to the same standards as athletes when they break the rules.” Said Caradh O’Donovan, World Champion Kickboxer and Karate athlete from Ireland.
“WADA needs to send the strongest message of all to reinstate faith in the anti-doping system. It is critical that WADA shows the rest of the world they are serious about penalizing drug cheats”, added Australian Olympic Basketball Player, Rachael Sporn.
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