An Olympic skier and chair of WADA’s Athletes Commission suggested last week that Russia be suspended from next year’s Winter Olympics over doping violations, but the IOC and its own Athletes Commission have fired back, criticizing the skier’s opinion.
Beckie Scott, an Olympic cross-country skier for Canada, is a member of the Athletes Comission for WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency. She spoke to InsideTheGames last week about reports suggesting that the IOC (International Olympic Committee) would only fine Russia for allegations of a massive, institutionalized doping program. Those allegations come from the high-profile McLaren Reports (here and here) from last year.
Scott said a fine would be “a superficial gesture,” according to InsideTheGames, which said Scott also “called for a stronger punishment such as a suspension from next year’s Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.”
But this weekend, the International Olympic Committee and its own Athletes Commission released its own statement, criticizing Scott’s remarks as “inappropriate at this time.” The full IOC statement is below:
In regard to potential IOC actions related to the Russian anti-doping investigation and further subsequent actions ahead of the Olympic Winter Games, PyeongChang 2018:
“As IOC Athletes’ Commission and members of the WADA Athlete Committee, we are completely focused on supporting clean athletes on and off the field of play. As athletes we know nothing is more important than the integrity of competition and we trust and expect that IOC, WADA, and all parties involved will take strong actions once the facts are clear.
“While we all want a swift resolution for athletes, we believe the comments made by the chair of WADAs Athlete Committee are inappropriate at this time. We do not wish to speculate, and we hope that other Athletes’ Commissions will refrain from comment until the full facts of the case emerge and the investigations are completed. We believe speculations about possible outcomes without knowing the result of the work of the two IOC Commissions is creating confusion to athletes. Therefore, we are all urgently awaiting the two IOC Commissions to complete their work ahead of the upcoming winter season so that athletes are accurately informed about the facts, the actual situation and resulting decisions, ultimately leading to cleaner sport for all.”
With reference to point six of the WADA Athlete Committee Statement on 9 August 2017:
“As the IOC Athletes’ Commission and also members of the WADA Athlete Committee, we believe the comments questioning the independence of CAS and the quality of the arbitrators is misguided. A number of highest courts of different countries have confirmed the independence of CAS and such comments only lead to mistrust and confusion. We support CAS in its ability to fight for clean sport and want to reassure the athletes of the world in this regard.”