SHOWS: LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (DECEMBER 5, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) PRESIDENT, THOMAS BACH, SAYING: "It is the IOC in the Olympic charter has accepted the World anti-doping code and if there is a decision being issued according to the World anti-doping code, it is mandatory for the IOC." 2.
NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS 3.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC) PRESIDENT, THOMAS BACH, SAYING: "We have no reason that, to doubt that this statement which we have been reading by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency), that obviously after WADA had reinstated or provisionally reinstated RUSADA (Russian Anti-Doping Agency), after sanctions have been issued for all the events before, that after this there was obviously a new manipulation of some of the old data." STORY: The International Olympic Committee would have to accept any sanctions imposed on Russia by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) following the latest doping scandal, the organisation's head said on Thursday (December 5).
A WADA compliance committee recommended last week that Russia receive a four-year Olympic ban, which would keep it out of next year's Tokyo Games, as part of a sanctions package to punish Moscow for having provided the agency with doctored and incomplete laboratory data.
WADA's executive committee will meet in Lausanne on Dec.
9 to consider the recommendations, which the head of Russia's Olympic Committee described last week as "excessive, inappropriate and wrong." IOC President Thomas Bach told media at the end of a three-day executive board meeting in Lausanne on Thursday (December 5) that it would be mandatory for his organisation to follow WADA's decision but the German declined to speculate on which sports or events would be affected.
Bach added that he had no doubt the Russian data had been tampered with and said the decision was completely in WADA's hands including how they deal with a potential conflict of interest.
The tampering of the data could hamper the prosecution of up to 145 cases related to the Moscow anti-doping laboratory.
Bach said the IOC would read the report very closely and work with WADA to determine whether they can salvage any of the cases.
The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) was initially suspended after a 2015 WADA report found evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping in Russian sport involving athletes across many sports.
The IOC is still unclear about the next steps in a Russian doping saga that has dragged on since 2015 and tarnished several Olympics, including the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016 and the Pyeongchang Winter Games last year.
The WADA decision is likely to determine whether Russian athletes, who can prove they are clean, will compete as neutrals or whether some will be invited by the IOC to compete in Tokyo.
The IOC is eager to have clarity on the matter as soon as possible to avoid a protracted legal fight similar to the one prior to the Rio Olympics when dozens of Russian athletes appealed to CAS to be allowed to compete in Brazil only weeks or even days before their competitions.
(Production: Cecile Mantonvani, Tim Hart)