Russian Sochi Doping Investigations: IOC President calls for respect for due process!

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

Speaking on 2 November 2017 at the XII ANOC General Assembly in Prague, the IOC President, Dr Thomas Bach, called for respect for the ongoing IOC investigations into doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games (see post of 3 November).

He condemned public calls for further sanctions on Russia before these investigations have actually been completed as being “unacceptable!”

Two IOC Commissions – the Schmid and Oswald Commissions – are currently considering the allegations of systematic Russian doping at Sochi.

Following the Olympic Summit, which was chaired by Bach last weekend, the IOC issued the following statement to the media:

“The Olympic Summit expressed its strong concerns and considered it unacceptable that specific sanctions are already being demanded in the public domain before the two Commission have even completed their work and due process, to which any individual and organisation is entitled, has been followed.”

In other words, the Human Rights of the Russian athletes under investigation – especially their rights to the ‘presumption of innocence’ and ‘a fair trial’ under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950 – must be respected.

It will be recalled that Bach, who is a lawyer, resisted calls for a ‘blanket ban’ to be imposed by the IOC on Russian athletes competing in the 2016 Rio Summer Games on Human Rights grounds, following the publication of the WADA and McLaren Reports on the Russian doping allegations.

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’