Russian teams and athletes have found unlikely support from a Canadian chief investigator at the Word Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), who thinks they have been treated unfairly when handed bans by many sporting federations.
Richard McLaren is a law professor who worked for WADA on alleged Russian state-sponsored doping, which Moscow denies, at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
With Russian teams and athletes banned from many sports, however, after sporting federations followed an International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendation in spring, McLaren told German sports website Sportschau.de that “the way they are treated is not fair”.
“The athletes did not start this conflict and are not responsible for its course,” he said in reference to the military operation in Ukraine, which has provided the basis for the ban.
“Those are two good reasons to let them participate [in sports] again,” he pointed out.