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International Olympic Committee considering ban of all Russian athletes at 2016 Games

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A committee will debate individual justice vs. collective justice following widespread doping coverup allegations in Russia.

Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee has opened disciplinary discussions for both Russian officials and athletes following a 100-page independent report to the World Anti Doping Association (WADA). The end result may be as steep as a ban of 400 Russian athletes from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, though not before the Court of Arbitration for Sport rules Thursday on the appeal of a current ban of 68 athletes.

In addition, the IOC announced in the interim that it:

  • Will not associate itself with any international competition held in Russia, including the 2019 Euro Games.
  • Will ask sports federations not to hold major events in Russia.
  • Will not accredit anyone implicated by the report or anyone from the Russian Ministry of Sport.
  • Will investigate all Russian athletes who participated in the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia, for possible disciplinary action.

"The findings of the report show a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games," IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement Tuesday. "Therefore, the IOC will not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available against any individual or organization implicated."

The report investigated widespread doping and concealment methods used by the Russian Olympic team. It details wrongdoing during both the 2014 Winter Olympics and leading up to the 2016 Summer Games.

The IOC Executive Board stated, "[The committee] will explore the legal options with regard to a collective ban of all Russian athletes for the Olympic Games 2016 versus the right to individual justice. In this respect, the IOC will have to take the CAS decision on 21 July 2016 concerning the IAAF rules into consideration, as well as the World Anti-Doping Code and the Olympic Charter."

Russia's impropriety started following the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, where Russia had an embarrassingly low medal count. With Sochi named as the next host city, Russia enacted a plan that started with naming a new Minister of Sport.

The report found that a Deputy Minister was a gatekeeper for all positive doping tests out of the WADA-accredited lab in Moscow. The report also found that Russian government was involved in all aspects of the doping scandal, which included swapped samples and tamper-evident bottles being tampered with when the Moscow lab wasn't in charge of samples during other large international events.

The Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, was also reportedly involved in these actions. Ultimately, more than 50 percent of positive tests were converted to negative through various means, with athletics and weightlifting having the most disappearing positive results. A total of 643 positive tests were reviewed as part of the independent report, with at least 312 athletes having their results falsely reported as negative.

One of the more bizarre revelations from WADA's report was the fact that alcohol and steroid cocktails were real, and provided to the athletes. A cocktail consisting of Oral Turinabol, Oxandrolone and Methasterone was dissolved in alcohol and was designed to be swished around in the mouth so that it could be absorbed into the bucal membrane before being spat out.

The Moscow laboratory implicated in the report had its accreditation from WADA revoked in April 2016.

Russia finished atop the medal standings for the 2014 Winter Olympics. They had 33 total medals, 13 of which were gold and 11 of which were silver. Norway was in second place with 26 total medals and 11 gold medals. The United States came in fourth as far as gold medals were concerned, with nine, but had 28 total medals.

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