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17 January 2018, leaders from 19 National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) came together for a fifth special summit, this time in Bonn, to discuss the urgent questions that are still unanswered in the lead up to the Olympic Winter Games. NADO leaders are speaking out to support clean athletes who face an uncertain playing field and who have voiced their concern that clean competition has been compromised.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) having acknowledged, on the basis of multiple international inquiries, that the presumption of innocence has been lost for Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) it was imperative that the IOC establish clear criteria and a transparent process to allow the inclusion of OAR in the Games. To protect the rights of clean athletes as required by the Olympic Charter it is necessary for the bar to be higher for OAR to compete in the upcoming Olympic Winter Games.
Unfortunately, with less than three weeks to the PyeongChang Games, the criteria being applied to allow OAR to compete in South Korea have not been published. Since the IOC decision on 5 December 2017 the panel has had more than six weeks to publicly announce clear objective criteria. The NADO leaders hope that the decisions of the panel will reflect the severity of the situation that sport is in and uphold the rights of clean athletes. But, independent from the outcome, the failure to announce these criteria and reach a decision more promptly is a missed opportunity that has undermined the rights of clean athletes.
In early December a group of NADO leaders, through iNADO, conveyed recommendations to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), based on their expertise in anti-doping, for appropriate standards to be used to evaluate the eligibility of OAR to compete in PyeongChang. These standards were passed on to the IOC Panel, they are summarised below and set out in full here.
The NADO leaders agreed in Bonn that robust and demanding criteria, as well as the names of Russian athletes with their individual testing histories who have met them, need to be published as soon as possible.
Published objective criteria serve the interests of clean athletes, and will help to restore confidence in the integrity of international sport which has been deeply damaged by the Russian doping scandal.
NADO leaders urged the IOC to condition any future recognition of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) upon fulfilment of WADA Roadmap. This will involve compliance with at least two currently unfulfilled requirements: the findings of the McLaren Reports have not yet been acknowledged and WADA has not been given access to the stored samples and data at the Moscow laboratory. If these conditions are not fulfilled it is clear to the NADO leaders that the suspension of the ROC should not be lifted. Any sense that payment of a fine is sufficient for reinstatement of the ROC cannot be accepted.
The protection of whistleblowers remains a matter of great concern and the NADO leaders called upon the IOC to provide more assistance in this regard by publicly calling for the whistleblowers protection and conditioning any ROC reinstatement on their ongoing safety.
The NADO leaders acknowledge the steps taken previously by the IPC and the IAAF as having been an effective means of responding to this crisis which provides an example for the IOC.
On behalf of NADO leaders from the following countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Japan, Republic of Ireland, Finland, France, Netherland, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom, United States, Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland.
Summary of objective criteria
- A minimum of 12 months testing in a World Anti-Doping Code compliant programme
- Minimum levels of out of competition testing
- Application of biological passport and additional analysis as appropriate
- No association with prohibited coaches nor reference within the McLaren Reports or other
- No pending cases
- Full disclosure of all knowledge of doping activity