ASADA response to IOC decision

6 December 2017

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority applauds the decision by the International Olympic Committee to ban Russia from the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games. 

ASADA CEO David Sharpe said: “This is a historic moment for clean sport and represents what is right.” 

“The IOC’s decision shows that there are harsh consequences for subverting the anti-doping process and sends a strong message that clean sport matters.”

“The decision to ban Russia, as well as offering options for Russian athletes who have undergone rigorous testing to compete as neutrals is a considered solution to a complex issue, and the IOC should be praised for their decision.”

“It is also a great victory for Australian athletes, who can now compete at PyeongChang with greater confidence in a level playing field.”

The IOC’s decision came in the wake of overwhelming evidence that Russia had run a state-sponsored doping program in the lead up to, and during the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. The Committee faced significant pressure from the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations, which includes ASADA, to ban Russia. 

“The IOC’s decision has sent a clear message that the world wants, and demands, clean sport and level playing fields,” Mr Sharpe said. 

“With the Commonwealth Games just four months away, we will ensure that message is heard loud and clear.”

In conjunction with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) and the Commonwealth Games Federation, ASADA has put together the most rigorous anti-doping program in the history of the Commonwealth Games. It includes tanking of all samples collected at the Games for the first time ever, as well as a pre-Games taskforce to oversee testing. 

“This taskforce brings together representatives from around the world to provide independent oversight of the testing program and ensure high risk athletes are tested adequately in the lead up to the Games,” Mr Sharpe said.

“We plan to leave a lasting legacy for future Commonwealth Games, in order to help protect global sport more broadly in future.”