Campaign to force Russia out of Rio divides sport leaders
LOS ANGELESJul 18, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Jul 18, 2016 12:00 am
A North American-led campaign to ban Russia from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics has opened up an international divide on how to deal with the doping scandal engulfing Russia. European Olympic Committees president Pat Hickey said he was "shocked" by a move led by the United States and Canada to have Russia completely banned from the Summer Games, which start in Rio on Aug. 5. Hickey said he was alerted to the move when the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency's athletes commission sent out an appeal for backing for the campaign.
Russia is already banned from international athletics because of a doping storm. And today Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren's report is due on his investigation of allegations that the Russian government manipulated doping samples taken at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics to protect Russian competitors. But Hickey said a U.S.-Canadian attempt to get a blanket ban before the report has been released "has shocked and concerned me on a number of levels."
"My concern is that there seems to have been an attempt to agree an outcome before any evidence has been presented," Hickey said.