USADA set to demand from IOC to suspend Russia from Rio Olympics

The decision should be taken not later than July 26, the agency says

USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) head Travis Tygart is set to demand from International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach that the Russian Olympic and Paralympic teams be suspended from taking part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro. The decision should be taken not later than July 26, Tygart says in his draft letter, obtained by TASS.

On July 18, the WADA Independent Commission led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren is expected to release a report on doping manipulations at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi. In the meantime, Tygart says in his draft letter that McLaren’s probe has confirmed the state has been patronizing the system of doping in Russia.

"The Independent Investigation led by respected international arbitrator and law professor Richard McLaren confirmed a shocking pattern of long term, systemic and state·sponsored doping and interference with anti·doping processes by the country of Russia. The evidence included intentional subversion of the anti·doping processes at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games, and in many other international competitions, and systematic undermining of the drug testing of Russian athletes for many years in a successful effort to cheat to win," the draft letter says.

"The McLaren Report confirms that this conduct was directed by the Russian Ministry of Sport and assisted by Russian government intelligence services. In so doing, Russia intentionally violated the Fundamental Principles of Olympism, the Olympic Charter, the World Anti·Doping Code," it reads.

In this regard, the USADA head believes that "a full suspension is the only available and appropriate result having regard to the findings and conclusions set out in the report."

"Considering the fast·approaching opening of the Olympic Games, we respectfully request that the IOC act by no later than July 26, 2016 to confirm that Russia and its Olympic and Paralympic Committee and all Russian sport federations shall not participate in the Rio Olympic Games," the letter says.


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