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IOC may strip medals in Russian doping case

Olympics Day 15 - Athletics

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Silver medalist Caster Semenya of South Africa, gold medalist Mariya Savinova of Russia and bronze medalist Ekaterina Poistogova of Russia pose on the podium during the medal ceremony for the Women’s 800m on Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 11, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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The International Olympic Committee said it asked the IAAF to take action against those accused of doping in a report published Monday and may afterward strip medals.

“The IOC has asked the IAAF to initiate disciplinary procedures against all athletes, coaches and officials who have participated in the Olympic Games and are accused of doping in the report of the independent commission,” the IOC Executive Board decided, according to a press release. “With its zero-tolerance policy against doping, following the conclusion of this procedure, the IOC will take all the necessary measures and sanctions with regard to the withdrawal and reallocation of medals and as the case may be exclusion of coaches and officials from future Olympic Games.”

The executive board also provisionally suspended former IAAF president Lamine Diack from his honorary IOC membership. Diack was placed under criminal investigation last week on suspicion of taking more than $1 million in bribes to cover up Russian positive drug tests.

Monday’s report from an independent World Anti-Doping Agency panel recommended lifetime bans for Russian athletes and officials including the gold and bronze medalists from the women’s 800m at the London Olympics -- Maria Savinova and Ekaterina Poistogova.

The silver medalist in that race was South African Caster Semenya, she of the gender-testing controversy of 2009 and 2010.

“There was someone that finished first in the Olympics, whether she doped or not, I came second and that will never change,” Semenya said, according to South African media.

“I ran the Olympics and I won the silver medal, so I can’t celebrate anything other than my silver. Even if they crown me Olympic champion, it is just an award from them I never celebrated.

“It wouldn’t mean anything for me, it would be great for my country but for me as an athlete I cannot entertain the thought.”

The fifth-place finisher in that race was American Alysia Montaño.

“I don’t have any medals in my hands still yet, but with the findings it looks promising, and I’m very, very hopeful,” Montaño said Monday on Periscope, crossing her fingers during a nine-minute video. “Here’s to retribution and to justice being served.”

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