IOC’s Dick Pound: Russia may need to take ‘timeout’ from Olympics due to doping

Canadian IOC executive Dick Pound, the former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency. (Kerstin Joensson/AP)

Canadian IOC executive Dick Pound says it might be time for Russia to take an Olympic “timeout” as the country deals with another doping controversy.

Pound, who was the first head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), said in an interview with Reuters that the Kamila Valieva case suggests Russia has not learned from previous sanctions.

“At a certain point if they are absolutely incorrigible you end up with the position of take a country timeout,” Pound said. “We could say we can help you. You got a problem. We can concentrate on it. Take a time out for one or two, or three Olympic Games until you get this under control.”

Valieva, 15, helped Russia win the gold in the team figure skating event with a historic quadruple jump in the women’s singles portion of the competition. But the medal ceremony scheduled for Feb. 8 has been delayed indefinitely after Valieva tested positive for Trimetazidine — a banned heart drug — from a sample collected by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) on Dec. 25.

RUSADA suspended Valieva on Feb. 8 — the day the positive test was reported — but reversed their decision the next day following an appeal. The IOC, however, along with WADA and the International Skating Union (ISU), has asked the Court of Arbitration of Sport to overturn the appeal. A decision on Valieva’s status is expected by Feb. 15 when she is scheduled to compete at the Games again in the women’s singles event.

Complicating matters is the fact that Valieva is a minor. Russia is already competing at the games as the Russian Olympic Committee — and their anthem is not being played — as part of sanctions imposed following multiple doping violations dating back to the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

“The Russians don’t help themselves because they have been absolutely unrepentant,” Pound said. “They won’t admit anything, they appeal every single decision.

“I think the approach probably has been too lenient to allow them to compete as the Russian Olympic Committee.”


When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.