Olympic games in Pyeongchang: the hopes of Russia are dwindling

Photo: Andy Wong, Associated Press
The president of the Russian olympic Committee, Alexander Zhukov

In refusing to lift the suspension of its anti-doping laboratory, the world anti-doping Agency has reduced the chances of Russia to participate in the next olympic winter Games.


At a meeting held Thursday in South Korea, the AMA has stated that two main goals for the suspension to be lifted were not met : the Russian federation should publicly accept the results of the survey of Canadian Richard McLaren, which concludes that it has sponsored a program of doping widespread, and provide access to urine samples of athletes collected during the reporting period.


Russia has countered that the program of doping that has tarnished the olympic Games in Sochi in 2014 was the work of a few ill-intentioned individuals, and not by the government.


Alexander Zhukov, the president of the Russian olympic Committee, has repeated this explanation at Thursday’s meeting, saying the members of the AMA : “We deny totally the existence of a program of doping generalised sponsored by the State. “


“It is clear that we cannot recognize unconditionally the results of the report, McLaren, has he hammered. Such a condition cannot and should not be required in order that the RUSADA meets the criteria [of the AMA]. “


The director of the anti-doping Agency u.s. (USADA), Travis Tygart, described the latest developments as ” another sad episode in this case sordid “.


“There is no other conclusion, since they refuse to recognize that the extensive evidence collected demonstrate, said Tygart. The clean athletes are now concerned to see if the IOC will take action to defend their rights or not. “


The IOC will have the final word as to the involvement of Russia in the olympic games of 2018. The decision of the AMA and the statements of Zhukov, will play a role in the decisions that will be taken by the IOC at the meeting of the next month.


Before the olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the IOC had refused to suspend the Russian team, preferring instead to rely on the different sports federations in order to determine the eligibility of athletes.

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