Rio Olympics: WADA Chief Ready For 'Precedent-Setting' Action Against Russia
The Russia team is ruled out of all events in athletics in 2016 Rio Olympics, although Russian athletes training outside the country can apply to compete as neutrals at the August 5-21 event in Brazil
Craig Reedie, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), on Monday indicated he would be prepared to back "precedent-setting action" against Russia following suggestions the country's entire team could be banned from 2016 Rio Olympics.
The founding president of WADA, Dick Pound, told Britain's Sunday Times newspaper that such a ban was "not impossible".
Friday saw the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) uphold an international ban on Russia's track and field competitors first imposed in November after a WADA team led by veteran Canadian sports administrator Pound revealed state-sponsored doping and mass corruption in Russian athletics.
The Russia team is now ruled out of all events in athletics in Rio, although Russian athletes training outside the country can apply to compete as neutrals at the August 5-21 event in Brazil.
The IAAF's decision was endorsed by the International Olympic Committee on Saturday.
But there are fears that the scale of Russia's breaking of doping rules extend beyond just track and field, with swimming said to be another sport that has broken doping rules.
In May, WADA set up a new investigation under Professor Richard McLaren, a Canadian law professor and long-standing member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), into allegations of state-backed doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.
Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Russian lab now living in Los Angeles, also gave an interview to the New York Times last month in which he said he switched tainted urine samples for clean ones at the doping lab used for the Sochi Games, with help from people he believed to be officers of the Russian security services.
McLaren, who is due to deliver his full report by July 15, said in a preliminary statement on Friday he had evidence that Russia's Ministry of Sport was involved in instructing a Moscow laboratory to "not report positive sample results over the period before, during and after" the 2013 World Athletics Championships.
"In the coming weeks, we will learn the outcome of our independent McLaren investigation," Reedie, speaking at the WADA symposium at London's Lord's Cricket Ground, said on Monday.