Olympics: IOC clashes with U.S. over anti-doping reform

Posted March 17, 2017

International Ski Federation (FIS) chief Gian-Franco Kasper has apologized after he bizarrely compared calls to impose a blanket ban on Russian athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games with the Holocaust. "It was an inappropriate and insensitive comment", it read.

Concerns have been growing that Russian Federation is yet to clean up its act after WADA's McLaren report uncovered a large-scale doping conspiracy, notably at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

The 73-year-old Swiss made the Holocaust comparison during Thursday's International Olympic Committee executive board meeting in Pyeongchang, the host city for next February's Winter Olympics. I apologise unreservedly for any offence I have caused. "I am truly sorry", Kasper said in the statement released by the IOC. "I am truly sorry".

"Like Mr. Hitler did - all Jews were to be killed, independently of what they did or did not do", he added.

When challenged about comparing the two situations, Kasper said: "Why not? But just the fact that the place you come from makes you guilty, I'm not okay for this, really not".

In Pyeongchang, the International Olympic Committee executive board also called for elected athlete members and independent members on the WADA boards, and a "neutral" president and vice-president who don't come from any government or sports organisation.

With the help of its partners, the Summer and Winter International Sports Federations (IFs) and National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the IOC is undertaking a comprehensive review of the current state of gender equality in the Olympic Games with a mandate to produce action-oriented recommendations for change.

USA anti-doping chief Travis Tygart has said the overlap between the International Olympic Committee and WADA - whose president, Craig Reedie, is also an International Olympic Committee member - is hampering the fight against drugs, describing it as the "fox guarding the hen house".

"So next time you have a Mr. Smith who has doped, so all the Smiths of this world, wherever they come from, are automatically banned from participation".

According to the insidethegames website, Kasper once again told his executive board colleagues that he was concerned about punishing clean Russian athletes for the sins of others.