RUSSIAN DOPING SCANDAL: Sayers hits out at IOC

Bedford International Games PNL-140406-113000002
Bedford International Games PNL-140406-113000002
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Goldie Sayers has led a backlash against the International Olympic Committee after it opted against imposing a blanket ban on Russian athletes for next month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Those findings resulted in widespread calls for the Eastern European nation to be excluded from the upcoming Games.

Newmarket-born British javelin thrower Sayers was particularly vocal, having been denied a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after being beaten by a Russian whose sample from the event was recently found to be positive.

Upon learning that the IOC had resisted the clamour to ban all Russians, Sayers told the BBC: “It is a state-sponsored doping programme, so there has to be really tough sanctions on Russia.

“The IOC have missed a massive opportunity, probably the biggest decision in their history to honour clean athletes, of which there are thousands around the globe.

“They are competing cleanly, trying to make the Olympics.

“It is hard enough to make the Olympic team, let alone win a medal.

“They have to protect the rights of clean athletes across the board.”

Under the governing body’s ruling, the 28 individual sports federations which make up the summer Olympics are free to decide the fate of Russians on a case-by-case basis.

Track and field athletes have already been suspended, but there has been no indication yet whether or not other sports intend to follow suit.