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INTERVIEW German Olympic head slams WADA over Russian scandal By Andreas Schirmer, dpa

Europe
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Rather than praise the World Anti-Doping Agency for initiating the report into widespread Russian doping, the head of the German Olympic Association has criticized the body for acting as a prosecutor and not doing anything about the problem beforehand.

Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - German Olympic Association president Alfons Hoermann has slammed the World Anti-Doping Agency for its conduct surrounding the Russian drugs scandal.

WADA called for a blanket ban on Russians competing at the Rio Olympics which start on August 5 after a report it commissioned exposed a state-run doping programme.

The International Olympic Committee decided against an outright suspension and left it up to individual sports federations to evaluate who to ban.

"We must urgently learn the lessons of what has happened in Russia but also across the world of sport, especially at WADA which suddenly took on the role of prosecutor despite having made a huge mistake itself," Hoermann told dpa.

He said the IOC had been heavily criticized in the scandal but there had been little said about "the failure of the authority responsible for the global anti-doping fight - WADA.

"For years it had appropriate information about the hair-raising practices in Russia and until last December failed to act."

A first WADA-commissioned report last year into systematic doping in Russian athletics led to the entire Russian-based track and field team to be excluded from Rio.

This month‘s report about state-run doping in the lead-up to and during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics put the whole of Russian sports in focus.

"The whole affair could have been dealt with so much sooner with the necessary calm and precision," Hoermann added.

He backed the IOC‘s stance thus far in the scandal but said only time would tell whether they were indeed the right calls.

"That will depend on how the IOC decision is implemented by the world associations and whether that leads to a recognized, acceptable Russian team at the Rio Games," Hoermann remarked.

"I hope that by the start of the Games in Rio the widespread beauty of sport will again be the centre of attention.

"But the world of sport must sort itself out after Rio. Things must be re-thought and dealt with differently. Business as usual can not and should not exist."

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