Rio Olympics: President Vladimir Putin calls ban on Russia a political harassment

Rio Olympics: President Vladimir Putin calls ban on Russia a political harassment

President Vladimir Putin questions the move to ban Russia from taking part at the Rio Olympics, which is set to open next month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, due to an alleged anti-doping scandal.

Members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has called for sanctions against Russia after a report confirmed that its athletes used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and tampered their anti-doping test in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

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“What is behind this haste? Is it an attempt to create the needed media atmosphere and apply pressure? We have the impression that the USADA experts had access to what is an unpublished report at the very least, and have set its tone and even its content themselves. If this is the case, one country’s national organization is again trying to dictate,” Putin said in a statement.

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In the report, it stated that Russia knew they had athletes who were using PEDs. In connivance with other agencies, they allegedly managed to swap their athletes’ samples to come clean and compete in the games. The report added that Russia’s Ministry of Sport knew of the tampering.

For Putin, however, the results of the said report do not satisfy him. He added that Russia, as a country, joins the international community in condemning the use of illegal substances, such as PEDs, in the world of sports.

“We ask the WADA commission to provide fuller and more objective fact-based information so that Russia’s law enforcement and investigative agencies can use it in their investigation. We can guarantee that their work will be seen through to its conclusion and that all subsequent measures will be taken in full to prevent violation of Russian law and ensure that our country fulfills its international obligations,” Putin stated.

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The IOC is set to meet in Rio to discuss the sanctions that would be handed down. Once the sanction is given, it will be the biggest decision that the sports’ governing body has ever implemented.

Meanwhile, Putin is asking the IOC to reconsider their decisions and hear their argument. He is asking them to recall why the organization was established in the first place. Putin reminds them that the IOC was established to bring “people and cultures closer together” and not divide them.

Photo Courtesy: Presidential Press and Information Office/