PtG Article 01.03.2018

IOC reinstates Russian Olympic Committee

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirms it has decided to lift the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Yesterday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to lift the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) effectively allowing the country to participate in future Olympic events and activities.

“The final notification of all remaining test results from the Olympic Athlete from Russia (OAR) delegation has been received from the Doping-Free Sport Unit (DFSU). The IOC can confirm that all the remaining results are negative,” the IOC wrote in a statement yesterday.

“Therefore, as stated in the Executive Board decision of 25th February the suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee is automatically lifted with immediate effect,” the IOC added in the statement.

While suspended by the IOC, Russia’s athletes were forced to compete under the name “Olympic Athletes of Russia” (OAR) at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea due to the country’s” systemic manipulation” of the anti-doping system during the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

According to information obtained by Inside the Games, IOC’s National Olympic Committees Relations Director, Pere Miro, sent a letter to ROC President, Alexander Zhukov confirming Russia’s reinstatement into the ‘Olympic family’.

“On behalf of the Olympic Athlete from Russia implementation group, I wish to inform you that, following the IOC Executive Board decision on February 25, 2018, the final notification has now been received from the Doping Free Sports Unit and the IOC can confirm that all the remaining results from the OAR delegation are negative,” Miro wrote.

“Consequently, the second point of the IOC EB decision on February 25 comes into effect automatically and immediately,” Miro’s letter continued.

“This means that the ROC can again exercise all rights and duties conferred upon it by the Olympic Charter, as any other National Olympic Committee,” concluded the letter.

Opposing anti-doping organisations

The decision to lift the suspension of Russia can be seen in the light of a ruling made at an IOC Executive Board meeting last week. At the meeting, the Executive Board decided to reinstate Russia “so long as no additional doping cases arise from tests conducted during the Winter Olympics”. 

In a statement following the IOC Executive Board decision last week, the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO) expressed its disappointment with the IOC’s intention to reinstate Russia.

“Clean athletes who have had their Olympic moments stolen, whether it be by missing a medal or even failing to qualify as a result of false results achieved by Russian athletes, deserve a more principled and steadfast response,” the statement read.

“You may feel that the ROC is part of the Olympic family, and deserves to be welcomed back into the Olympic house. We would argue that Olympic Moments have been stolen by doped members of past Russian contingents with no acknowledgement of responsibility by the ROC nor indication of contrition; the sanction must align with the IOC ‘zero tolerance for doping’ policy,” concluded iNADO.