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IOC May Sanction Russian Doping Before Start Of Winter Season

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President has dismissed criticism against his performance and outlined a targeted timetable for sanctioning Russian doping.

Thomas Bach said it is very easy to be loud at such points and operate symbolic politics. The IOC President also remarked he is not only responsible for the moment, but for many years. Bach also commented that the athletes, as well as the associations and Governments, in particular must be able to rest assured that we remain faithful to our principles and do not give in to a momentary political upheaval. Bach also said the issue of doping is about justice and not about political decision-making.

Presently, two IOC-commissioned investigations are underway following evidence of institutional doping by the McLaren report that implicated more than 1,000 Russian athletes, at events including the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games.

IOC-run Schmid Commission is presently addressing the institutional conspiracy across summer and winter sports athletes who participated with Russian officials within the Ministry of Sport and its infrastructure. The objective of the Schmid Commission is to prove who exactly was directly responsible for masterminding alleged regime of Russia within the country's Government.

On the other hand, the Oswald Commission is looking into sample manipulation allegations while also analyzing all samples given by Russian athletes at London 2012. A big part of the evidence surrounding the Sochi Games is about the illegal swapping of urine samples with clean but fake ones.

The IOC President said both Commissions will have delivered a verdict before the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics in February. Bach remarked our sanctions depend on the results of these Commissions and added he hopes they will be implemented before Pyeongchang. Bach also commented that he would prefer it to happen before the start of the winter season so that the qualifications for the Games are clear.

Bach now wants to avoid a repeat of the fractious build-up to the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. McLaren Report was published less than three weeks before the Opening Ceremony that resulted in complete chaos. The report resulted in public fallout between IOC and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) officials. WADA and other authorities criticized Bach for his statements that "individual justice" must be prioritized over "collective responsibility."  Bach was accused by many for following a soft approach on Russia because of his proximity with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) added to woes of the IOC by imposed a blanket suspension on Russian participation at the subsequent Paralympic Games.

German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) President Alfons Hoermann recently asked Russia to be banned from Pyeongchang 2018.

In reply, the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said suggesting the country should be banned from the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games is "flagrant violation" of the Olympic Charter. In a statement, the ROC said the fundamental principles of Olympism are the autonomy and independence of sports organizations from any outside influence, as well as the inadmissibility of interference in the activities of members of the Olympic Movement, which is reflected in the United Nations General Assembly resolution of October 16, 2014.

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Albert Wolfgang
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