Ex-WADA chief tells us why decision to allow Russian athletes at Olympics "just doesn't make sense"

"I think you have to step up and say 'the Olympic Games belong to us'"

wada, russia, athletes, rio 2016, olympics, drugs, dick pound

Picture by: David Davies / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Former World Anti-Doping Agency chief Dick Pound says he is "very disappointed" with the decision not to impose a blanket ban on Russian athletes at the Rio Olympics after recent doping scandals.

Pound was speaking to Off The Ball in the wake of Sunday's decision by the International Olympic Committee to allow individual sporting bodies to decide whether to permit Russian athletes to perform.

Pound was the author of the World Anti-Doping Agency report which revealed the extent of doping in Russian athletics. 

"I was very disappointed with it. I think it's just out of character for the organisers of something like the Olympic Games to punt on one of its main responsibilities, namely who can participate, to international sports federations. I think you have to step up and say 'the Olympic Games belong to us, we can decide who should be there,'" he said, adding that a "stronger response is called for than the IOC gave".

Pound was unsure about why the IOC chose to come to such a decision.

"It just doesn't make sense when you're trying to send a message about doping as a problem that is really serious," he said, emphasising the state-sanctioned nature of the scandal in Russia and feeling that the decision is "so off-message" and a squandered opportunity.

But he also believes that Russia is not the only country with a doping problem.

Off The Ball also spoke to PA's Matt Slater, who has been in touch with the 28 sports federations who have been left with the decision over the inclusion of Russian athletes from the Games, with some worrying responses from some of them and Russia's vast influence in sport being quite evident.