International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has reaffirmed his commitment to eradicating doping and corruption within international sports.
Athletics was rocked by a report published by an independent commission set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in November, resulting in Russia’s suspension amid allegations of state-sponsored doping.
Bach has now renewed his call for a tackling of corruption within sport, insisting that the situation offers the chance to provide clean athletes with proper protection.
“Yes, these are difficult times for sport. But yes, it is also an opportunity to renew the trust in this power of sport to change the world for the better,” Bach said in a statement.
“As an Olympic medallist, recent developments in some sports are particularly upsetting. What saddens me most as a former athlete is that they erode the trust in the clean athlete.
“Clean athletes who push themselves day in day out pursuing their dreams see the finger of suspicion pointing at them. This is the very worst ‘side-effect’ of doping.
“We must do everything we can to protect these millions of clean athletes around the world. For their sake and for the credibility of sports competition, they have to be protected from doping and corrupting influences. We also have to protect the credibility of sports competition from match-fixing and manipulation.
“The IOC has created a specific US$20 million fund for the protection of clean athletes. This comes on top of overall international investments of an estimated US$500m for around 250,000 anti-doping tests a year, among other initiatives.
“The IOC has a zero-tolerance policy against doping and any kind of manipulation and corruption.”
Bach confirmed the IOC has made changes in its auditing and financial reporting, applied term limits to IOC members and introduced ethics officers.