It would be “impossible” to move the 2019 Winter Universiade away from Krasnoyarsk, despite the damning revelations in the McLaren Report about systemic doping during the Kazan 2013 edition also held in Russia, a top official has claimed.
Comments made by Winter Universiade director Milan Augustine during a four-day inspection visit to the Siberian resort represent the first response by the International University Sport Federation (FISU) since Richard McLaren’s World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned report was published last week.
The comments come despite McLaren alleging that a “Disappearing Positive Methodology” was used in Kazan in which fake, clean samples were switched to replace tainted ones.
Investigators recovered Excel spreadsheets with lists of positive results from sample tests and the names of which athletes should be saved or quarantined.
Seventeen Russians were reportedly involved, with it thought likely that this number includes two swimmers – Nikita Lobintsev and Vladimir Morozov – who have since been banned from Rio 2016 following consultation between McLaren and the International Swimming Federation.
A Russian team including 19 reigning Olympic champions won 156 gold and 292 total medals in Kazan, more than half of the total golds available.
But, according to news agency R-Sport, Augustine claimed FISU, whose President is Russian Oleg Matytsin, will “listen to the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), but [to] cancel the Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk is impossible in 2019”.
This response in contradictory because the IOC have recommended that winter sporting events due to be held in Russia be moved elsewhere.
Augustine then added: “This is, I would say, the policy of FISU [which] has already voiced its position on this issue, we have very good relations with the IOC and will listen to their advice.
“But I would like to announce that FISU are an independent organisation from the IOC.
“We control the Universiade – this is only our project.
“So, only the FISU decides whether to hold or cancel the Universiade.
“I can add that to cancel the World Universiade in Krasnoyarsk is not possible.
“The election was held in 2013 – it has done a great job.
“This is a very big project, not only for FISU, but also for Russian sport and student sport development in Siberia.”
Russia’s Oleg Matytsin was elected FISU President last year.
A release on the FISU website makes no mention of the allegations in outlining the ongoing inspection.
Main topics to be discussed will be the “dynamics of venues preparation, medical services for the participants, preparation of the venues for TV coverage and press communications”, it claims.
Considering doping at a student event was one of the most alarming elements of the McLaren Report, this reaction, or lack of, is bound to provoke criticism outside Russia for an overly lenient approach.
McLaren is now expected to study further the allegations surrounding Kazan 2013 and other events in Russia.
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.