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      January 11, 2017

      Anti-Doping Bosses Call for Ban on Russia Hosting International Sporting Events

      On Tuesday, the leaders of 19 National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs)—including those of France, Germany, the United States, and Canada—concluded a "special summit" in Dublin by asking the world's governing bodies of sports to, among other things, bar Russia from hosting any international sporting events.

      The summit was called in response to an independent investigation, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Association and led by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren, into Russian PED use. The second part the McLaren Report, which was published in December, laid bare the breadth and depth of the doping program, which involved the Russian government and intelligence services in addition to various sports organizations. Predictably, Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied the existence of any state-sponsored doping.

      "With new, irrefutable evidence of Russia's institutionalized doping system uncovered by McLaren and his team, the leadership group has called for the exclusion of Russian sport organizations from all international competition until the sport and anti-doping systems in Russia are brought into full compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code," reads the NADO statement, in part. It also calls for "a moratorium on the awarding of new competitions to Russia."

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      While the NADO statement makes reference to the International Association of Athletic Federations, the world governing body of track and field, it does not mention FIFA, despite the fact that the 2018 World Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup are both scheduled to take place in Russia. (We've reached out to the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations for comment and will update this post should iNADO respond.) It's hard not to read the statement as a means to put public pressure on FIFA specifically, however, given those upcoming events.

      FIFA is unlikely to strip Russia of the World Cup, barring some sort of apocalypse, but it's not a good look when a bunch of organizations that would otherwise lend credibility to an event tell the event's organizer, years ahead of time, that the event shouldn't happen at all.

      Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov responded to the summit by questioning the NADOs' power. "We have a work plan with WADA. I would not pay attention to the statements of some strange leaders," Kolobkov said, according to the Russian news agency Sputnik, and called the iNADO statement "clearly beyond the scope of their activities."

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