Howman claims Russians are "worse than Lance Armstrong" and calls for Pyeongchang 2018 ban unless they admit wrongdoing

Jan 5, 2017

David Howman, the former director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has called for Russia to be banned from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang unless they provide "some sort of acknowledgement" of state-sponsored doping in the country. 

The New Zealander claimed this would be a "real kick in the face" for the world's largest country.

He also called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to "take a strong stance and be really strong" after they supposedly failed to "measure-up" by opting not to issue a blanket Russian ban before Rio 2016.

Howman, replaced by Olivier Niggli last June after 13 years in his WADA role, spoke after the McLaren Report documented evidence that around 1,000 Russian athletes have been implicated in a cover-up scheme between 2011 and 2015, at events including the Sochi 2014 Winter Games.

The IOC have now opened disciplinary proceedings against 28 athletes from the country whose urine samples at the Games contained evidence of being tampered with.

But the evidence stretches across a range of other events spanning Summer and Winter Olympic, non-Olympic and Paralympic sport.

"The Russian thing is bigger than Ben Hur," Howman told Stuff New Zealand.

"I don't think everybody really understands the full extent."

Russian officials have admitted that some sort of doping programme existed.

They have repeatedly denied, however, that there was any state involvement from the Sports Ministry or security services, as is alleged by McLaren.


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