World Archery endorses Rio participation of 3 Russian athletes

Following the decision of the International Olympic Committee Executive Board that international federations should assess the eligibility of Russian athletes to compete at Rio 2016, the World Archery Executive Board has made the following decisions.

Executive Board member Vladimir Esheev of Russia was not consulted due to a conflict of interest and World Archery President Prof Dr Ugur Erdener, due to his position as an IOC Executive Board member, decided not to participate to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest.

The World Archery Executive Board expressed its shock and concern at the extent of the findings of the McLaren Report and its implications on the reputation of sport.

The Board expressed that the IOC Executive Board should be congratulated on its courageous decision not to put a blanket ban on the Russian Federation, which would have been extremely unfair to any clean Russian athlete, who had no part in any of the alleged activities mentioned in the McLaren Report.

Since the publication of the initial report on issues with Russian Federation athletes, archers from the Russian Federation have been targeted for additional doping tests, both in- and out-of-competition. No Russian archery athlete has received an adverse analytical finding.

The Board has assessed the criteria established by the IOC Executive Board and confirms it is satisfied that the following three Russian athletes are eligible to compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games:

World Archery can confirm that these three athletes are among those that have been tested extensively. None of the three has previously been sanctioned for doping.

This decision, along with supporting evidence, will be submitted to the IOC and archery’s expert appointed by the Court for Arbitration in Sport.

Though not mentioned as a sport in the McLaren Report, World Archery takes any threat to clean sport and the integrity of archery very seriously. It significantly increased its testing programme in response to two Anti-Doping Rule Violation cases in early 2016.

The World Archery Executive Board will now meet during the Games in Rio to review the World Archery Anti-Doping rules and assess whether they are adequate to handle a case similar to those affecting sports mentioned in the McLaren Report.

If any evidence of malpractice was revealed to have taken place within the sport of archery after further investigation by WADA, then World Archery would take immediate action to investigate and sanction the individuals and federation concerned.

World Archery remains a defender of sport for clean athletes. This includes the three Russian Federation women that will compete in archery at Rio 2016.

Prof Dr Ugur Erdener said: “I did not participate in the World Archery Executive Board’s discussion on Russian Federation athletes’ eligibility for Rio 2016 to avoid any potential perceived conflict of interest with my role as an IOC Executive Board Member.”

“World Archery is committed to protecting archery as a sport for clean athletes. In anticipation of potential issues following the initial reports regarding Russian Federation athletes, World Archery significantly increased its testing programme both in- and out-of-competition.”

“The World Archery Executive Board was satisfied that, within the framework established by the IOC, archery’s three qualified Russian Federation athletes should be eligible to compete in Rio.”

“As Chair of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission, and keeping in mind the importance of protecting clean athletes, I strongly support the IOC and Olympic Summit decisions on this subject.”