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Human right activists: Banning Russian athletes on the principle of collective responsibility is unacceptable as violating the right to a fair trial

The Executive Committee of the International Bobsleigh Federation made a statement on the impossibility of banning Russian athletes from the competitions. The IBSF internal anti-doping commission thinks that participation of the bobsleigh and skeleton racers in the doping scandal was not proved. This decision will be challenged in the Court of Arbitration for Sports. Human right activists of the Amnesty International support the Federation’s decision, and remind about the necessity to ensure the right to a fair trial.

“Grigory Rodchenkov testified only before McLaren, the head of the WADA Independent Commission. If the IBSF anti-doping commission does not hear Rodchenkov’s testimony before the decision is made, it will violate article 10.6 of the IBSF anti-doping code, and article 6.1 of the European Convention on Human Rights, proclaiming the human right to a fair trial. There is a legal need for Rodchenkov’s presence at the anti-doping hearing panel as a witness, to be informed and/or cross-examined. Only in this way it is possible to provide equal conditions for all parties. In the current conditions, banning the athletes will contradict the article 7.9.3.2 of the IBSF anti-doping code,” — says the summary of the International Bobsleigh Federation anti-doping commission.

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The current situation inside the IBSD gives Russian bobsleigh and skeleton racers the possibility to continue competing. As a reminder, based on the findings of Oswald Commission’s investigation, IOC barred 13 athletes for life. This includes: skeleton racers Aleksandr Tretyakov, Sergey Chudinov, Elena Nikitina, Maria Orlova, Olga Potylitsina; and bobsledders Alexander Kasjanov, Aleksei Pushkarev, Ilvir Huzin, Alexandr Zubkov, Aleksey Voevoda, Aleksey Negodaylo, Dmitry Trunenkov and Olga Stulneva.

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“The IBSF anti-doping commission has chosen to review the matter comprehensively, taking into consideration the barred athletes as well. This may become a breakthrough that will help to solve all the fundamental issues, such as, whether collective responsibility is legitimate in sports, and if it is acceptable for the same person to be an investigator, a prosecutor and a judge,” — lawyer Dmitriy Morozov predicts.
On December 19th, 2017 the IBSF through its legal counsel sent its Statement of Appeal and Urgent Application for Provisional Measures to the Court of Arbitration (CAS) in Lausanne.

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