The International Ski Federation has released an official statement about the McLaren report, which found widespread evidence of doping among Russian cross-country skiers, among athletes in other sports.
The statement reads:
“FIS has studied the WADA McLaren Investigation Report part 2, which was published on Friday 9th December 2016 relating to doping allegations in Russia and especially in connection with the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
There are cross-country skiers included with alleged anti-doping rule violations, all of which relate to the tampering of samples during Sochi 2014. Cases that occurred during the period of the Olympic Winter Games come under the results and case management authority of the IOC, and FIS is liaising closely with the IOC in order to undertake a number of follow up actions within its own authority as soon as possible which includes the possibility of provisional suspensions. Due to the size of the accompanying Evidentiary Documentation Package, the details are still being reviewed.
FIS is in ongoing contact with the dedicated group at WADA which is working with the McLaren Investigation Team for further specific questions. Any such actions will be managed in accordance with the FIS Anti-Doping Rules in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. This also means that the names of the athletes will not be communicated until the outcome of an eventual case is decided.
FIS shares the frustrations of its stakeholders in our sport, specifically those of the athletes competing in the same sport, and the desire for clear and decisive action. FIS is equally shocked and disappointed by the findings in the McLaren Report as it is an attack on the integrity of fair and clean sport and FIS will continue to do everything in its power to ensure a fair and equal playing field for all of its competitors, especially considering the fact that the ski season 2016/2017 is in full swing and important competitions are approaching.”
Meanwhile, Russia seems ready to give up on hosting World Cup Finals for cross-country skiing in Tyumen in March, as they were slated to do.
Elena Valbe, the head of the Russian Ski Federation, told R-Sport news that the most important thing was that Russian athletes should be allowed to compete in the upcoming 2018 Olympic Games. She seemed to hope not fighting a decision to move the World Cup away from Russia in response to the scandal would earn the country goodwill and prove that they were eager to change.
“Yes, of course it’s a shame,” she said, according to a translation. “We do not have a nations group quota because we have no other Russian stage of the World Cup. It’s very disappointing for the region, which is developing successfully, and for the governor himself, Vladimir Yakushev, who is making a lot of effort for this.”
She added that all of the Russian sports federation should act together regarding the hosting of international events, and she wasn’t certain how other federations were thinking about the situation.
“My deep conviction is that now we need to think about how all our teams will get to the Olympic Games,” she said. “A World Cup– it is a side issue. I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong, but for me the Olympic Games– it is more important.”
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