Statement: COC responds to IOC Executive Board Decision on Russia at Rio 2016

TORONTO — Today, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) released the following statement in response to the IOC’s decision to not impose a blanket ban on all Russian athletes competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“We at the Canadian Olympic Committee are fully committed to clean sport and firmly believe that no one involved in doping or other corrupt practices has a place in the Olympic Movement. In the wake of these troubling revelations, clearly more steps are needed to ensure the Olympic Games are free from the scourge of doping. Canada will continue to do everything to be not only an example but a leader in this fight.

The imposition of stricter conditions under which Russian athletes may possibly participate at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – which addresses the potential for clean athletes who may have been impacted by a blanket ban – is only a first step. The onus now remains with the IOC to ensure that the International Federations fully execute their authority and the process that has been identified. Vigilance is critical at this time. All National Olympic Committees must be held accountable and be the standard-bearers for their nations. A diligent and exhaustive process to assess all athletes and participants is critical to clean competition.

We endorse the decision to extend the mandate of Professor McLaren and his investigative team, to ensure this important anti-doping work continues. Every avenue that might facilitate doping of any kind needs to be exposed and shut down. More steps need to be taken to ensure a level playing field for all clean athletes.

We support Canadian athletes who have spoken out about the need to ensure that all involved with the Games adhere to a strict requirement that competitions be clean and that strong steps are taken against those who cheat. We will continue to work with WADA, the IOC and the broader Olympic community in our shared responsibility to protect and promote clean sport.”

– Tricia Smith, President, Canadian Olympic Committee and Olympian (Rowing)

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