Next month’s World Mixed Curling Championships in Kazan will not be moved but Russia has been warned they may not be awarded events in the future if further evidence of state-sponsored doping is uncovered when the next edition of the McLaren Report is published.
The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) ruling Executive Board had recommended following the publication of the original McLaren Report in July that Winter International Federations “freeze preparations” for any major event in Russia and to “seek alternative hosts”.
Anti-Doping World understands, however, that the Federations were told by the IOC during a meeting at Rio 2016 that the ruling only applied to future candidacies of Russian cities for major events and not to those which had already been awarded or planned bids from the country.
The IOC statement, released in July following publication of the McLaren Report, commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and which alleged the presence of a state-sponsored doping scheme at the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games in Sochi 2014, as well as other major events, did not make this clear.
The decision to keep the World Mixed Curling Championships, due to take place between October 14 and 22, at the Sport Palace in Kazan was taken during the World Curling Federation (WCF) Annual General Assembly in Stockholm last Saturday (September 10).
Kazan had been awarded the event by WCF in October 2015.
The Sport Palace in Kazan will host the World Mixed Curling Championships next month ©WCF
“During our Annual Congress the McLaren Report was discussed with both the WCF Board and our Member Associations,” a spokesperson for the WCF told.
“We confirmed that we are working with the IOC and WADA to establish the best way forward regarding the information contained in the McLaren Report and, we await the final report later this month.
“Following a meeting with the Russian Curling Federation it was confirmed they will offer their full cooperation in the efforts to promote clean sport and prove their athletes are abiding by our anti-doping standards.
“With regards to the World Mixed Curling Championships in Kazan, following discussions with the IOC it was agreed this event could continue as the planning was too far advanced and to cancel it would have adversely impacted on the 36 visiting teams, many of whom had already made and paid for flight arrangements.
“Once the full McLaren Report is published we will be in a better position to decide if other events will be awarded to Russia.”
This will be only the second edition of the World Mixed Curling Championships after the event made its debut in Bern in Switzerland last year when Norway beat Sweden 5-3 in the final.
Several other major events are due to be held in Russia during the winter season, including the Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Championships in Sochi between February 13 and 26.
The International Biathlon Union, meanwhile, earlier this month awarded Tyumen its 2021 World Championships, leading criticism from both inside and outside the sport.