Federations Respond To Russian Doping Accusations, Australia Questions Russia’s Hosting Viability

Athletics Australia, Athletics Canada, the Russian Sports Ministry and Interpol are among the major international players who have publicly responded to today’s breaking news alleging major improprieties in Russia’s anti-doping efforts.

You can read more about today’s WADA Independent Report here and some more swimming-centric analysis here.

Athletics Australia:

Maybe the most relevant reply for the swimming community came from Athletics Australia, which called the allegations “disturbing” and questioned Russia’s ability to host a major international sporting event.

“The contents of the WADA Independent Commission Report into allegations of doping in athletics is disturbing and Athletics Australia welcome the swift response by the newly elected IAAF Council and their President, Lord Sebastian Coe, to start the process of considering sanctions against the Russian Athletics Federation,” Athletics Australia said in its statement.

“We reiterate our absolute stance against doping in sport and implore the IAAF to take all actions necessary to deliver a level playing field for all athletes. Circumstances like those alleged in this Report must not be allowed to continue.”

Athletics Australia also criticized the choice of Russia as host for the 2016 IAAF World Race Walking Teams Championships and World Junior Championships.

Swimming, of course, recently held the biggest event of 2015, the 2015 FINA World Aquatics Championships, in Kazan, Russia, with all anti-doping samples being tested at the Moscow lab that WADA today alleged had been compromised by political tampering.

Athletics Canada:

Athletics Canada released a brief statement noting its disappointment about the alleged violations and supporting continued investigations into the matter.

“First and foremost, we are very disappointed to hear the details of today’s announcement,” its statement said.

“Athletics Canada is strongly in favour of ongoing investigations into systematic doping with severe sanctions for any athlete, coach or federation in contravention of the World Anti-Doping Code, and ethical sport practices.

“We are committed to working with the IAAF, anti-doping agencies and international federations to rid the sport of cheaters, ensuring Canadian athletes are on an even playing field at all international competitions.”

Russian Sport Ministry:

Inside The Games reports that the Ministry of Sport for Russia released a lengthy statement, saying it would use the allegations made in the report to strengthn its anti-doping efforts.

It also urged WADA to focus on “real facts and evidence” in its further decisions and investigations.

It appears the Russian Sports Ministry is defending itself from allegations raised in a German documentary last year, a documentary about improprieties in Russian track and field that caused WADA to launch its investigation.

There “is a big difference between information that journalists provide and proven facts and evidence which naturally an investigation such as this should be based on,” the Russian Ministry of Sport said.

However, Inside the Games called the statement a “stringent denial and refusal to cooperate.”

“In the face of 323 pages of damning evidence in the report, the Russian defence appears increasingly out-of-touch and at odds with the findings,” Inside The Games says.

Interpol:

Interpol also released a statement, announcing it would be coordinating a global investigation into an “international corruption scam involving sports officials as well as athletes suspected of a doping cover-up.”

Interpol reports that the Independent Commission asked Interpol’s anti-doping unit for help during its investigation and that Interpol assisted with that investigation.

WADA has had a cooperation agreement with Interpol since 2009, with the two organizations working together to counter doping violations internationally.

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Joel Lin
7 years ago

Oh boy, close to some real hard stereotypes here and some well deserved. Vlad trained and competed in the US for years and was lightening fast and tested up the wazoo. There was nothing spurious in his trajectory as a high schooler or at USC. You are correct that no small legion of Russian swimmers then track athletes have a drug positive history. I’ve always had a trust Vlad was better than that.

I’m guilty of it too. The problem with some of these federations is once trust and credibility are shot, it is almost impossible to get it back. I have a disposition going all the way back to the 1990s against the Chinese who denied US women… Read more »

SpeedoArenaJaked
Reply to  Joel Lin
7 years ago

Joel, I understand your position on Vlad, however, neither Vlad nor the Russian team swam up to what was expected of them. As a matter of fact, they underperformed significantly. All I am hinting at is this: the Russians probably microdose and dope, and because of the increased scrutiny at Kazan, they were not able to conduct business as usual.

I hope Vlad is clean. But when you lie down with fleas…………….

As for Sun, wasn’t he was on the medication when it was legal to take, but continued to take it after it was banned? You can’t fault a guy for taking medication that was legal and then subsequently banned, regardless of the benefits. You can only fault him… Read more »

Joel Lin
7 years ago

This is so sad and so bad. I feel particularly bad for the Russian greats of today who are clean like Vlad. I hope the IOC moves fast and with blunt force over this so that the world can look forward to and celebrate the Olympics next year.

Let’s also end the FINA/FIFA/IOC/Putin bromance. Enough is enough.

SpeedoArenaJaked
Reply to  Joel Lin
7 years ago

What makes you think that Vlad is clean? His poor performance in Kazan? He swam at USC and he trained in Russia part of the time. He has never tested dirty, but the company he keeps is.

SpeedoArenaJaked
Reply to  SpeedoArenaJaked
7 years ago

Sorry for the grammatical lapse. I meant to say “He has never tested dirty, but the company he kept has.”

cbswims
7 years ago

The responses are understandable and make sense, but a statement bolstering the athletes would be better. Let the athletes compete who are willing to be tested by labs independent of Russian influence.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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