The International Association of Athletic Federation, called the IAAF convicted nearly 70 athletes from Russian Federation under the influence of banned drugs as a WADA-approved study detailed practices of Russian doping-schemes in Moscow. The IAAF is responsible for identifying athletes who fail the doping-scheme but ultimately the decision to participate in the Olympics rests with the IOC.
However, the study proved inconclusive as the IOC announced that Russia will not be thrown out of the Games and that it is upto the individual sports federations to decide on athletes’ fate. As the IOC laid down further criteria’s which need to be met including, “an individual analysis of each athlete’s anti-doping record, taking into account only reliable adequate international tests.”, the Russian contingent was in for a surprise as the ITF backed the committee’s verdict.
Since the International Tennis Federation controls and limits the participation, prior to IOC’s recommendations, the ITF has openly backed and officially stated it’s acceptance on their official site. “The ITF welcomes the decision of the IOC to permit clean athletes to compete in Rio 2016 and to let each International Federation determine the eligibility of its respective Russian athletes. The seven Russian tennis players who have been nominated to compete in Rio have been subject to rigorous anti-doping testing programme outside Russia, which included a total of 205 samples collected since 2014.”
“The ITF believes that this is sufficient for the seven Russian tennis players to meet the relevant requirement of today’s decision of the IOC Executive Board. The ITF will also be seeking confirmation from WADA that none of those players, or the Russian Tennis Federation, were implicated in the McLaren report, in accordance with the IOC decision.”
The above verdict comes as an impeding relief to Russia as the Court of Arbitration Sport banned 68 athletes in November for faking dope results. Dave Haggerty, the president of ITF, said “We had a number of decisions that we made, and research that we did so that we would have the facts and know exactly, and be assured, that the tennis athletes had been tested rigorously enough, if they were to make the decision to let the international federations decide.”
With the decisive response from the ITF, it’s observant to notice how quickly the ITF welcomed the IOC’s decision as doping-scams came to notice after Maria Sharapova passed positive for the test, and her subsequent 2-year ban. As multiple federations ponder over the transparency in the world bodies, many other heads of authorities like Richard Ings, former head of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, believed in ITF’s creditability and virtue to uphold the standards of sportsmanship and quality playing.