World Anti-Doping Agency president Craig Reedie has exclusively revealed to beIN SPORTS that it will be hard for the Russian NOC to successfully defend their suspension from competing in the upcoming Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
“My guess is there is always a right (for Russia) to appeal to the court of arbitration for sport. I think the evidence that has been collected over the last two and a half to three years is pretty clear.”
The IOC moved to suspend Russia from all Olympic competition based on the findings of the Schmid report, which focused on the systematic manipulation of the anti-doping system in Russia. Reedie also revealed that he hoped that Russia would not deny any clean athletes, who have been allowed to compete under the Olympic flag as a neutral athlete providing they could prove themselves.
“I hope when things calm down people in Russia understand that it will still be possible for some of their athletes to take part in the games providing they can meet the standards of clean sport.”
“If they (Russia) don’t understand and boycott that will be very sad, because they will be denying clean athletes the opportunity to take part in the Olympic Games” added the WADA chief.
Reedie also praised the IOC in handling the findings from the Schmid report in suspending the Russian NOC. “This has been the biggest breach of the Anti-doping process in the history of sport. To that extent at least using the name Russia places responsibility exactly where it should be.”
“From the evidence of the last two and half of years, when information emerges that people are in breach of the regulations, they will be found out, they will be investigated and steps will be taken against them.”
Reedie added that sporting organisations will think twice about breaking anti-doping rules based on the way in which Russia has been dealt with by the IOC.
“Clean sport is really important to the future of sport and I think the message from the last two and a half years should be loud and clear to any organisation in sport that is thinking about breaking the rules.”