Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) is not holding back in its criticism of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision not to ban Russia from the Rio Olympics despite overwhelming evidence of state-sponsored doping.
“We are extremely disappointed at the IOC’s failure to show adequate leadership in protecting the integrity of sport,” said DFSNZ’s chief executive Graeme Steel.
“The decision of the IOC to not take matters into their own hands but pass on the hot potato to International Federations shows a lack of will to back the core principles of their organisation with hard decisions,” says Mr Steel.
International Federations (IF) have been asked to assess whether or not Russian athletes in their particular sport can demonstrate that they are competing clean.
“This places them in a terribly conflicted position as to declare them ineligible would provide a clear inference that their own programmes are inadequate.
“Many International Federations will have neither the time nor capacity to make the quick and clear decisions necessary let alone do it in a consistent way” says Mr Steel.
“We already have one reported instance of an IF President saying Russian athletes are in simply because Russia is important.”
Mr Steel believes the decision is a black day for clean athletes and undermines the work which his and counterpart organisations around the world conduct on a day to day basis to support those athletes.