The world’s leading antidoping officials on Monday called for Russia to be barred from this summer’s Rio Games after a damning report confirmed a Russian whistle-blower’s claims of government-ordered cheating at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
The request by officials was extraordinary, if not unprecedented, in the history of the Olympics. President Vladimir V. Putin responded defiantly as the possibility emerged that the Russian flag would not appear at the opening ceremony on Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro.
While announcing that the Russian sports officials named in the report would be “temporarily suspended,” Mr. Putin on Monday asked for “fuller, more objective information that is based on facts.”
“Today we see a dangerous relapse of politics intruding into sports,” he said in a statement.
The International Olympic Committee’s executive board will discuss the results of the report by the Canadian law professor Richard McLaren in a teleconference on Tuesday.
McLaren said he had found convincing evidence that the Russian ministry of sport hid hundreds of positive drugs tests among its athletes in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics, as well as during the World Athletics Championships in Moscow in 2013 and the Winter Olympics in Sochi a year later.
Among the options on the table for the IOC will be a complete ban on Russia from the Rio Olympics, which begin next month, as well as a proposal to allow individual sporting federations to decide whether to implement separate bans – which, given the timescale, will be almost impossible to push through.
Last month Russia’s track and field stars were banned from Rio by the International Association of Athletics Federations, with only those who had trained outside the Russian system being allowed to compete under a neutral flag.
Thomas Bach, the IOC president, called the findings of McLaren’s report “a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sports and on the Olympic Games”.