Update on AIOWF action taken on the McLaren Report

The Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (AIOWF) is very concerned about the allegations made against Russian sport and Russian athletes in the McLaren Investigation Report. Following its publication, those International Olympic Winter Sports Federations (IFs) concerned reacted immediately to the findings and since the report was issued on 9th December 2016, eight athletes have been provisionally suspended by them. Additionally, Russia will now not stage a number of winter sports events which were scheduled to be held in the country in the 2016/17 season, such as the Bob and Skeleton World Championships, the Biathlon Junior World Championships, the FIS Cross-Country World Cup Finals, the ISU World Cup Speed Skating and other major winter sports events including World Cups.

This immediate response by the Winter IFs mirrors that of the IOC, which moved to immediately assess the available information through its two related Disciplinary Commissions (the Oswald and Schmid Commissions) and opened disciplinary cases for 28 Russian athletes who are implicated in the McLaren Report with samples taken during the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014 that have been tampered.

All allegations related to Sochi 2014 fall under the jurisdiction of the IOC, while all allegations and evidence related to matters outside the time of the Olympic Games remain the responsibility of the respective Winter IF. In this regard formal legal procedures are now underway by the IFs against a number of accused athletes. In these procedures, the IFs respect the general principles of law, in particular the presumption of innocence, the right to be heard and due process. In some cases, provisional suspensions have had to be
lifted and procedures dropped due to a lack of evidence currently provided by WADA to issue sanctions able to stand up to legal challenge. In this context the Winter IFs look forward to the upcoming meeting with WADA on 21st and 22nd February to address details relating to the findings in the McLaren Report.

Understanding from Prof McLaren that it was not his mandate to look into the cases of individual athletes, the Winter IFs are in contact with WADA to receive further evidence on all of the cases. The International Olympic Winter Sport Federations will act against athletes, their entourage members and national federations whenever corresponding evidence is provided. Of particular importance in this regard is the Inquiry Commission, chaired by the former President of Switzerland, Samuel Schmid, which is addressing the “institutional conspiracy across summer and winter sports athletes who participated with Russian officials within the Ministry of Sport and its Sports Performance and Anti-Doping Organisations", in particular with regard to the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014."

In addition to the Winter IF actions, we have been informed that the IOC will not restrict its inquiry to the 28 athletes against whom cases are underway, but will reanalysis all samples collected from Russian athletes who participated in the Olympic Winter Games Sochi 2014. In addition the IOC will reanalyse samples from all Russian athletes who had samples collected at the Olympic Winter Games Vancouver 2010. The Winter IFs will coordinate actions with the IOC also in this respect and cooperate with its two related Disciplinary
Commissions.

To ensure a level playing field in the current season and in the qualification for the upcoming Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018, the Winter IFs are striving to finalise all these procedures as soon as possible. 

Furthermore the Winter IFs have increased additional target testing on Russian athletes already following publication of the first part of the McLaren Report in July 2016. The International Olympic Winter Sports Federations would like to reiterate once again their absolute focus on the integrity of competition and their sports, addressing all available evidence and progressing with urgency the outstanding cases and information."