Olympic President Urges Governments to Focus on Those Who Aid Cheating Athletes

MIAMI, Florida – According to an AFP report, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach is urging governments around the world to be more involved to help “drain the doping swamp” by going after the entourage of cheating athletes.

“The athlete is not the only culprit,” Bach told this week’s World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) conference in Katowice.

“The athlete is supported and sometimes even driven to or forced into doping by a secretive network which may include coaches, agents, dealers, managers, officials from government or sport organizations, doctors, physiotherapists or others,” he said.

But while sports organizations can punish competitors who test positive they are powerless “to identify and sanction in a deterrent way the athletes’ entourage”.

As an example, Bach said if the IOC identified a doctor guilty of doping it will banish him from the games.

Bach cited state-doping in Russia, the Aderlass blood-doping operation, and the scandal-hit Nike Oregon Project as all highlighting the “urgent need to focus much more on the athletes’ entourage”.

By holding everybody implicated in a doping case accountable “we can take a major step forward to strengthen justice and credibility for the protection of the clean athletes and to drain the doping swamp.”

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