International Sport

IOC wants out-of-competition tests for Russians, Kenyans

Image: A woman walks out of the Russian Olympic Committee headquarters building, which also houses the management of Russian Athletics Federation in Moscow, Russia, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

By Karolos Grohmann
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants to bring in efficient out-of-competition doping tests in drugs-tainted Russia and Kenya to protect clean athletes.

“For the purpose of protecting clean athletes worldwide the IOC has asked the National Olympic Committees of Russia and Kenya, as well as WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), to ensure an efficient out-of-competition testing programme for all athletes in all sports…which at this time is not in place,” the organisation’s executive board said in a statement on Thursday.

Russia was suspended last month by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) after a report by an independent WADA commission detailed systematic, state-sponsored doping and related corruption in the country that had “sabotaged” the 2012 Olympics.

As it stands now Russia cannot send competitors to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

Kenya, facing scrutiny from anti-doping officials and criticism that it is not doing enough to tackle the problem, recently banned seven athletes for doping offences, raising the total number of drug cases to 40 in the African nation in the last three years.

A second part of the report, to be published early next year, is expected to be even more revealing, according to the head of the independent WADA commission.

“At this moment there is a concerted effort by the sports organisations in these two countries, along with IAAF and WADA, and I think this is the right way to go,” said IOC president Thomas Bach.

Kenya, renowned for its exceptional long-distance runners, topped the medals table at the world championships in August.

(Editing by Tony Jimenez)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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