Derval O’Rourke has called on the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) to pursue drug cheats around the world with the same vigour displayed in uncovering illegal practices in Russia.
Yesterday the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the appeal by 68 Russian track and field athletes seeking to overturn a ban imposed by the IAAF following allegations of state-sponsored doping and cover-ups.
The ruling could influence whether the entire Russian Olympic team is banned from the Games.
O’Rourke hopes that the International Olympic Committee now follow the lead of CAS and ban the Russians from next month’s Rio Games but added that such issues are not confined to any one country.
“I wouldn’t fancy them (Russia) being in the Olympics, that’s just my opinion on it, but I also think there’s a lot of doping problems in a lot of other countries and thinking that the problem starts and ends in Russia is a little bit naïve,” she said.
“I hope Wada go to the same trouble for all the countries as they’re going to do for Russia.
For me as a clean athlete, it’s good to see things getting cleaner and for the sport being cleaned up.
“It’s only positive. It might seem negative in the media, but for me, as an athlete, it’s definitely positive.”
Former Irish Olympian Jerry Kiernan praised the CAS decision and hopes that the IOC will take a zero tolerance approach to the Russian.
He said: “I was afraid that CAS would actually find in favour of them. CAS have done daft things in the past. They allowed Oscar Pistorius to run four years ago (in London 2012 despite having two prosthetic limbs), when he should never have, and they caused the IAAF to suspend their inter-sex policy.
“So CAS could have done anything, but I’m glad that they’ve decided that the Russians can’t run. It means it’ll make it easier for the IOC to tell the Russians that they can’t participate in the Olympic Games in any sport, which is the right decision to make.”
O’Rourke and Kiernan were speaking at the launch of RTE’s Olympic coverage in Dublin yesterday.
The broadcaster will carry over 280 hours of Rio 2016 coverage on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player while all 3,250 hours of competition available in full and on-demand on the RTÉ Sport website.
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