Sport Ireland joins NADO leaders in request for clear criteria and a transparent process for selection of Olympic athletes from Russia

Sport Ireland today joined the leaders from 19 National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) in calling for clear criteria and a transparent process for selection of Olympic athletes from Russia for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

The call was made following a two day summit in Bonn this week, where the NADO leaders gathered for a fifth time to discuss the urgent questions that are still unanswered in the lead up to the Winter Games. The NADO leaders are speaking out to support clean athletes who face an uncertain playing field and who have voiced their concern that clean competition has been compromised.

Speaking following the NADO summit, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, John Treacy, said: “The protection of clean athletes is clearly outlined in the Olympic Charter, and in order to protect the interests of those athletes it is imperative that the criteria for the inclusion of Olympic Athletes from Russia be published straight away.”

Following a meeting in December, a group of NADO leaders, through iNADO, conveyed recommendations to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), based on their expertise in anti-doping, for appropriate standards to be used to evaluate the eligibility of Olympic Athletes from Russia to compete in PyeongChang. These standards can be viewed in full here.

Sport Ireland Director of Participation and Ethics, Dr. Una May, was in also in attendance at the summit in Bonn: “While Ireland may be a small nation in terms of Winter Sports, we place a high premium on the protection of all of our clean athletes. If the integrity of the Winter Games is to be protected, it is important that there is transparency from the IOC around the criteria for the inclusion of Russian athletes at the Winter Games.”

The NADOs also highlighted that not all of the ‘WADA Roadmap’ recommendations have been implemented by Russia; the findings of the McLaren Reports have still not been acknowledged and WADA has not been given access to the stored samples and data at the Moscow laboratory.

Mr. Treacy continued: “When the IOC announced its decision to suspend the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) from participation in the PyeongChang Games, we welcomed that decision only on the basis that any decision relating to the reinstatement is only taken once the ‘WADA Roadmap’ recommendations are fully implemented. To date this still has not happened, and until this happens the NADOs are united in their belief that the suspension of the ROC should remain in place.”

See the full statement from the 19 NADOs here.