Russia considers it unfair to disqualify its athletes with a pure doping history and will seek the truth, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during today’s meeting with the Russian Olympic team in the Kremlin’s Alexander Hall. More than 150 athletes of the national team have been invited to the meeting, including those who were not allowed to participate in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which starts on August 5.
Putin stated that athletes were undeservedly injured, against whom there was no evidence, and called the whole situation a blow to the Olympic Games, since the exclusion of strong athletes lowers the intensity of the struggle, the Kremlin website reported. “After all, it is one thing to win against equal, strong rivals, and quite another thing to compete with those who are clearly below you in class. Such a victory has a completely different taste – or, perhaps, bad taste, ”the president noted. “I want to assure you that here, in Russia, we will look at our athletes-leaders as winners of the Olympic Games with all the ensuing consequences of an administrative and material nature,” Putin stressed.
“Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to make their dream come true – to perform in Rio. the situation went beyond not only the legal field, but also, in fact, common sense.The purposeful campaign, the goal of which was our athletes, included the notorious so-called double standards, and incompatible with sports – and indeed with justice and elementary norms of law – the principle collective responsibility, or – as has been said – “the abolition of the presumption of innocence,” the president said.
“We cannot agree with the indiscriminate disqualification of our athletes with an absolutely – I want to emphasize – pure doping history,” Putin said. “However, we will seek the truth exclusively in a legal manner, to act in strict accordance with the Olympic Charter,” he said.
The President of Russia promised that the country “by deeds will prove its principled commitment to a clean and fair fight.” “We intend not only to bring to justice all those involved in doping scandals, regardless of rank and merit, but most importantly – to form an effective system for preventing doping in sports in accordance with the National Anti-Doping Plan,” he stressed. Putin promised that an independent commission led by IOC honorary member Vitaly Smirnov will work as closely as possible with relevant international organizations.
On July 24, the IOC Executive Board decided not to remove the entire Russian national team from the 2016 Olympics, leaving the international sports federations the right to determine who can compete at the Olympics. Athletes with a history of doping problems will not be eligible to compete in the Olympic Games. However, the admission criteria are not limited to doping purity: the IOC has removed the presumption of innocence from Russian athletes, and now they must prove that they did not use doping.
The International Athletics Federation (IAAF) allowed only one Russian athlete to participate in the Games in Rio de Janeiro – long jumper Daria Klishina. After that, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne dismissed the claim of the ROC and Russian athletes against this IAAF decision, Interfax recalls.