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INTERVIEW Bach says IOC has clear doping message, Russia must solve problems By Ralf Jarkowski, dpa

Europe
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International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach says he was deeply shocked in learning the dimension of doping affecting Russia and the ruling athetics body IAAF, but in a dpa interview will not speculate on an Olympic Games in Rio without Russian athletes.

Berlin (dpa) - The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has a clear policy to protect clean athletes and punish those who dope, president Thomas Bach tells dpa.

In comments following the provisional suspension of the Russian athletics federation, Bach told dpa by telephone Sunday that Russia could overcome its doping crisis "but not undamaged."

The IOC will not hesitate "to impose extensive sanctions against those concerned - especially exclusion from future Olympic Games," he said from IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In reference to Russia‘s current doping issues and doping suspicions around other countries, Bach said: "The policy of the IOC is completely clear: punishment of those who dope and their backers, protection for athletes who are clean. And that should apply worldwide to everybody."

The international athletics federation IAAF council Friday provisionally suspended the Russian federation for an indefinite period which could include the August 5-21 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

It follows a WADA commission report outlining widespread doping practices and cover-ups of positive tests.

Former international athletics federation IAAF president Lamine Diack is the subject of a French criminal investigation on allegations of accepting bribes to cover up doping charges. Diack has been provisionally suspended as an honorary member of the IOC.

"I was deeply shocked by the dimension that this had, particularly with the international athletics federation," Bach said.

"Now all measures have to be taken so that the Russian athletics federation is cleaned - one cannot express it any other way. It must be ensured that the Russian anti-doping agency and the Moscow control laboratory are again compliant.

"Here WADA is required to initiate all possible measures. The same goes for the IAAF in relation to the Russian federation."

He added: "All guilty officials, coaches and doctors have to be identified and sanctioned. The doped athletes have to be punished and the clean ones protected."

Bach would not speculate on whether Russian athletes would be competing at the Rio Games next year.

"The Russian National Olympic Committee (ROC) and its president have recommended very clear and extensive measures: a complete reorganization of the national federation, new structures also for the anti-doping agency and the laboratory to bring these organizations in accordance with the anti-doping regulations," he said.

Compliance will be the precondition for taking part in the Games, he added.

Bach said he had not spoken to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko on the subject but pointed out that Putin had been reported calling for a full investigation.

Bach has discussed the issue with Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov who has pledged reforms.

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