Russia must “show some contrition to the sporting world” regarding allegations of state-sponsored doping, says a leading anti-doping official.
Joseph De Pencier, who is the head of the Institute of National Anti-Doping Agencies (iNADO) told CNN that it was right for a group of national anti-doping bodies to call for a ban on Russian sports organizations competing in international sporting events and the country hosting competitions until it “gets its house in order.”
“Until they acknowledge their problems, until they show some contrition about what they’ve done to the sporting world (then) they really they ought not to be competing and their athletes ought not to be welcome at sporting events,” De Pencier said.
But he stopped short of saying that any ban should extend to FIFA’s World Cup in 2018 that Russia has won the right to host.
“We recognize that it’s not going to be practical to take away events that are so close to being staged, especially something as large as the World Cup,” De Pencier said.
“But the fact that there are major sporting events taking place in Russia at a time when its anti-doping agency is being rebuilt from the ground up, at a time when its athletes are not receiving the same sort of anti-doping services and scrutiny that other athletes are, we think that’s a real cause for concern.
“Therefore, we have to look at any and all sporting events that might be held there,” De Pencier added.
FIFA told CNN that all anti-doping measures will be conducted to the highest standards over the course of the 2018 World Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup with tests analyzed in World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) approved labs be they within or outside Russia.
Russia has been under intense international scrutiny in the wake of the explosive, two-part WADA-backed Richard McLaren report which alleged state-sponsored doping within the country between at least 2011 and 2015.
On Tuesday, a group of 19 national anti-doping agencies (NADOs) called for Russia to be banned from hosting and competing in international sporting events until a credible anti-doping system is in place in the country.
The group, which includes doping agencies from the US, Japan and Germany, also said that arrangements should be made so that clean Russian athletes can compete as neutrals until “substantive progress in reform efforts are made” to ensure Russian sport is compliant with anti-doping protocols.
“Ultimately we’d like to welcome Russia back into the fold and would very much like to see Russian athletes compete cleanly … but that’s just not the state we’re in today,” De Pencier said.
NADO is an umbrella organization which represents 62 national anti-doping organizations worldwide.
NADOs are funded by their own national governments but are backed by WADA and carry out the majority of drug tests on athletes both in and out of competition.
Russia recently lost the right to host the 2017 bobsleigh and skeleton World Championships due to the fallout from the doping scandal.
It also gave up the right to host a World Cup biathlon event which was due to take place in March and was stripped of a speed skating meeting set to take place in the same month.
‘Deliberate attack on Russia’
Russia has consistently denied there was a state sponsored program to aid doping within the country.
Russia’s deputy prime minister, Vitaly Mutko, had dismissed Tuesday’s announcement by those 19 NADOs as a “deliberate attack on Russian sport aimed at its defamation.”
Mutko added that “today, people whose task is to test urine start pressing on people who make political decisions … The McLaren report does not give any grounds to make such statements.”
However De Pencier questioned whether Mutko had “read the same (McLaren) document that the rest of us have read.”
He also said that more than the 19 NADOs to put their name to Tuesday’s announcement were coming forward to support the organization’s position.
The second part of the McLaren report was released last month.
It stated that more than 1,000 Russian athletes across 30 sports benefited from a doping “conspiracy” that involved the country’s ministry of sport and state security services.
London’s Olympic Games were corrupted on an “unprecedented scale” because of Russian doping, the report stated.
It also concluded that the swapping of urine samples became common after the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 while male DNA was found in the samples of two female hockey players.