The WADA Athlete Committee commends and supports the decision made today by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). We are encouraged and heartened by the strong stance taken against the institutionalized systematic doping that was in place in Russia. The Athlete Committee would also like to congratulate WADA for commissioning the investigations carried out by Mr. Richard Pound and Professor Richard McLaren. We have the highest regard for the work done and detailed reports produced in exposing a conspiracy of fraudulent behaviour and doping; and, we congratulate the Schmid Commission for its work in confirming these findings.
In addition, we wish to thank Yulia and Vitaly Stepanov and Gregory Rodchenkov for their bravery and courage in bringing forward evidence from Russia to prompt these investigations and promote clean sport. These bold actions have transformed their lives, and we hope they can take pride in knowing their contributions have played a major role in transforming clean sport.
To ensure a level playing field at the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, the WADA Athlete Committee also stresses the importance of applying strict criteria and standards by the panel created to determine the eligibility of any Russian Athletes permitted to compete under the neutral flag.
We see this decision as symbolic that the voices of the clean athletes have been heard, and we encourage all athletes to contribute to the pursuit of clean sport and take a strong stance to ensure this never happens again.