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USOC chairman calls for unity to fix broken anti-doping system

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - The anti-doping system in sport is currently broken and in need of a radical overhaul, the chairman of the US Olympic Committee (USOC) Larry Probst reiterated ahead of the opening of the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

"Clearly the current system is not working and it‘s not living up to anyone‘s expectations," Probst told a news conference.

"We‘ve said consistently that what we‘ve advocated for is a truly independent organization that is properly staffed and funded, one that has investigative powers and also has the authority to punish and sanction offenders."

The build-up to the Rio Games has been overshadowed by allegations of state-sponsored doping in Russia made by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) investigator Richard McLaren.

However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ignored McLaren‘s recommendation of a blanket ban on Russia and questioned WADA over the timing of the report that was published less than a month before the start of the Rio Games.

Probst repeated his comments from the IOC Session earlier this week in saying that "this is not just Russia, this is a global problem.

"I hope that all the constituencies, the IOC, WADA, the federations, the NOCS (National Olympic Committees) [and] the athletes all get on the same page and work together to solve this problem as quickly as possible."

And Probst defended backing the IOC executive board decision to prioritise individual justice over collective responsibility, thus avoiding an overall ban on Russia at the Games. This policy has left more than 270 Russian athletes deemed eligible by individual sports federations.

"I believe in the concept of individual justice, it‘s what our United States constitution is all about," he said. "It‘s not a perfect solution but the best solution that could have been arrived at given the information and facts available."

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