IOC Decides Against Banning Russia for Doping Scandal

The International Olympic Committee showed leniency toward the Russian Olympic Committee on Sunday, allowing athletes from Russia to compete in this summer’s Olympics despite the discovery of a state-sponsored doping program.

In its ruling, the IOC weighed each athlete’s individual right to a presumption of innocence against collective responsibility in order to protect the credibility of the Olympic competitions. Ultimately, the IOC decided that the time constraints involved in the deliberation precluded them meting out the harsh penalty of a full ban.

“[T]he rules of natural justice, individual justice, to which every human being is entitled, has to be applied,” the IOC said in a statement. “This means that each affected athlete must be given the opportunity to rebut the applicability of collective responsibility in his or her individual case.

The IOC did establish strict parameters for Russian athletes to be eligible, stating that an “individual analysis of each athlete’s anti-doping record” should be carried out.

This ruling does not impact the ban on the Russian track team upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland on Thursday. They will still be prohibited from competing. 

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