IOC must refuse cash to lift Russia ban, insists Pound

IOC must refuse cash to lift Russia ban, insists Pound
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Published August 13th, 2017 - 07:36 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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The International Olympic Committee logo
The International Olympic Committee logo

The International Olympic Committee’s most experienced member and the former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency has poured scorn on the idea that Russia could get away with paying a fine to gain admission to next year’s Winter Olympics.

Dick Pound, whose independent commission was the first official body to uncover evidence of institutional doping in Russia, which Pound concluded was state sponsored, has said that the IOC’s reputation would be as disreputable as FIFA’s were it to accept the money.

IOC President Thomas Bach appeared to cave in to Russian pressure at last year’s summer Olympics by passing the buck to individual federations to decide whether Russia could compete in Rio – despite evidence that Russia officials and the state security agency FSB had conspired to switch samples at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 to allow Russian athletes to compete whilst on drugs.

A Press Association report last week said that the IOC and Russia had agreed the terms of the fine which would be announced prior to PyeongChang 2018 to allow Russia to compete. The IOC has said the report was ‘pure speculation’ and Pound said that his organisation would lose any credibility if it accepted such a deal.

Pound said: ‘The IOC has to be careful that it isn’t a case of: “Well, there go the principles and it’s just like FIFA. If there’s money, you can get around bad conduct.” If I were considering this and I were Thomas Bach I would be giving a lot of thought to the downside of coming into a lot of money.’

Pound also says the IOC could be opening itself up to legal challenges from cheated athletes. ‘If it’s in respect of the doping I’d be inclined to say money should go to WADA but there will be athletes who have been cheated saying this should be used to pay the prize money I was denied. There is potential for backlash.’

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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