Interfax: Global anti-doping system reform needed, IOC president resignation not on agenda – Duma committee head

Russian State Duma Building file photo

MOSCOW. Feb 9 (Interfax) – There needs to be a reform of the global anti-doping system after the Olympic Games, but Russia has no direct influence on the composition of the leadership of international sports organizations, and the issue of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach’s resignation is not being raised now, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Physical Education, Sports, Tourism, and Youth Affairs Mikhail Degtyaryov said.

“After the Olympics, it would be right to initiate changes in the global anti-doping system to make it more transparent and fair and ensure that it meets the spirit of the time. No one is going to initiate the resignation of Thomas Bach. Staff changes in international sports agencies are beyond our power,” Degtyaryov told reporters on Friday.

“The IOC made Russia an example of how, using its monopoly right, discriminatory decisions regarding athletes can be made. Tomorrow, any country could find itself in our shoes. Functionaries and athletes worldwide already understand that,” Degtyaryov said.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)’s most recent decision concerning Russian athletes is deeply disappointing, he said.

“We are confident that it was made under pressure from the West. I believe the CAS verdict and the entire doping scandal need to be a turning point in the evaluation of the entire international anti-doping system,” Degtyaryov said.

Russia will do everything it can to ensure that the athletes who were barred from the Olympics can realize their potential, he said. “After the Olympics, a decision will be made on holding all-Russian open competitions, where our guys will show what they can do, will get the support of fans and prizes for medals,” Degtyaryov said.

The State Duma will draft a statement on this matter at the request of State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, he said.