Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

16.34 10 Dec 2019


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Sport Ireland have said World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) sanctions against Russian doping have not gone far enough.

This comes after Russia was handed a four year ban from all international sporting events including the Olympics and the World Cup.

Sport Ireland, the national anti-doping organisation in this country, has today expressed its disappointment that a full ban on Russian involvement in international competition was not implemented in wake of the discovery of whole-scale manipulation of data provided to WADA by Russian authorities.

The news of the ban yesterday means the Russian flag and anthem will not be allowed at events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, as well as football's 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

But athletes who can prove they are untainted by the doping scandal will be able to compete under a neutral flag.

Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, said he was disappointed in the scale and reach of the WADA sanctions.

“The sanctions endorsed yesterday by the Executive Committee of WADA, while strong in some areas, do not go far enough to address the sheer scale of the systematic corruption encountered in Russia. It is entirely disappointing that WADA did not implement a full and immediate ban of all Russian athletes from international competition, including, as a minimum, the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games until such time as the confidence in the Russian anti-doping system is fully restored beyond any doubt.

“It is incumbent upon us to protect the interests of our clean athletes. While WADA has outlined a mechanism whereby Russian athletes can compete under a neutral flag, this system does not appear to be without flaw.

"Russian athletes will still be able to compete under the same coaches and support personnel that were a key part of one the most shocking scandals in the history of international sport. Our athletes deserve better.”

Sport Ireland Director of Participation and Ethics, Dr Una May, added that more "clarity" is needed.

“That a country found to have operated a systematic doping regime can still play host to one of the world’s biggest sporting events is troubling. Clarity is needed around the role Russia can play with regard to the hosting of future international events, particularly around their status when it comes to making bids for competitions during the period of exclusion.

"It is important that this is not allowed to happen and that all sanctions are enforced in the strictest terms.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the ban today - saying he thinks it's unfair to penalise the whole nation of doping when some athletes are not guilty of the allegations.

Putin says if the penalty is applied to every athlete, it will be for reasons other than just sport.


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