2016 Rio Olympics

Misinterpretation of drug tests for 2016 Rio Olympics? More bans on Russians to be lifted

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Photo courtesy: Shawn Carpenter/Flickr.com
Are the athletes safe?

A total of 119 Russian athletes have been banned from participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics, while 20 are still seeking for reinstatement. However, the Int’l Olympic Committee (IOC) has called for a regular reassessment of the ban by each governing body following a misinterpretation in its eligibility criteria.

There are reports that some of the information given about which athletes should be expelled from the 2016 Rio Olympics, based on WADA’s (World Anti-Doping Agency) report led by Canadian professor Richard McLaren have been misinterpreted.

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Now there appears to be a lack of credibility in the ban orders after mistakes have been uncovered.

The misinterpretation in the findings stems from the “disappearing positive methodology”, which is measured if four different degrees where one is not enough to convict an athlete of substance abuse.

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The IOC has provided new guidelines saying athletes should not be considered implicated in substance abuse if the McLaren list does not point to a particular prohibited substance. In such cases, there should be no violation to its anti-doping rules, and an athlete should be eligible to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Adding to the disorder was lack of clarity involving the case of Russia’s Pavel Sozykin of the sailing team, where in the “disappearing positive methodology” it has not been specified whether the test had occurred at a period outside the competition or during competition.

It is also worth noting that while some substances may be prohibited generally, it may not be prohibited to use while out of competition.

The Telegraph reports that more reversals are expected prior to the 2016 Rio Olympics opening ceremony.

The controversy regarding Russia’s state-backed doping allegations started after accusations were made by whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov. It has also been accused of intimidating officials while administering drug tests, and swapping of results with clean ones.

The doping allegations were said to have affected competition results from 2011 to 2015.

During investigations last June, the corruption is said to be so widespread that one official described the Russian athletic program as rotten to the core.

According to SBNation, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the ban from the 2016 Rio Olympics as a “deliberate campaign targeting our athletes.”

Photo courtesy: Shawn Carpenter/Flickr

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