CCES Welcomes IOC Decision on Russia

(Ottawa, Ontario - December 6, 2017) - The head of Canada’s anti-doping agency is welcoming the decision to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee from the upcoming 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

“The decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is significant and sends a strong message in response to the biggest and most egregious doping conspiracy in the history of international sport,” said Paul Melia, President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). “Banning a Russian team from the upcoming Olympic Games is a severe penalty befitting the severity of the violations.”

But Melia was quick to add that more needs to be done in Russia to ensure clean athletes and the global anti-doping community can have confidence in their anti-doping efforts going forward. He urged the IOC to maintain its sanction on the Russian Olympic Committee until Russia fully complies with the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Road Map to Compliance.  

“Russia must acknowledge its state-sponsored doping program and take full responsibility for it,” added Melia. “Hopefully the suspension will push Russia to meet the conditions laid out in WADA’s compliance road map. As host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Russia must truly demonstrate its commitment to clean sport if confidence is to be maintained in the integrity of the tournament.”  

The CCES endorsed the IOC recommendation to create a pathway for clean Russian athletes to compete at the 2018 Winter Games under the Olympic flag; however, the agency stipulated that these athletes must be able to demonstrate that they have been subject to the same kind of robust anti-doping program that Canadians, and other athletes around the world, have been exposed to throughout their national team careers.

About the CCES

The CCES is an independent, national, not-for-profit organization with a responsibility to administer the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. We recognize that true sport can make a great difference for individuals, communities and our country. The CCES acknowledges funding, in part, from the Government of Canada. We are committed to working collaboratively to activate a values-based and principle-driven sport system; protecting the integrity of sport from the negative forces of doping and other unethical threats; and advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open to everyone.

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