Rio Olympics 2016: Anti-doping system needs complete reform – Thomas Bach

Bach claimed a total ban went against "natural justice" for clean Russian athletes

The way sport deals with drug cheats needs fundamental reform, according to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach.

More than 100 Russian athletes have been banned from this summer’s Games in the wake of a World Anti-Doping Agency report into state-sponsored doping.

Bach said: “We need a full review of the Wada anti-doping system.

“The message is quite clear – we want to keep the cheaters away from the Olympic Games.”

He added: “The IOC is calling for a more robust and efficient anti-doping system.

“This requires clear responsibilities, more transparency, more independence and better worldwide harmonisation.”

In the wake of its McLaren report into doping in Russia, Wada had recommended all the country’s competitors be excluded from Rio 2016, but the IOC devolved responsibility to individual sport’s federations.

It then announced that an IOC panel would rule on which Russian athletes could take part in the Games.

More than 250 Russians have so far been cleared by their federations, with weightlifting and athletics the only sports to have imposed a blanket ban on competitors from the country.

Bach said a blanket ban, which he called the “nuclear option” at the Olympic summit on Tuesday, would have brought “death and devastation”.

The IOC has faced criticism over its decision not to enforce the Wada-recommended blanket ban, but Bach said the IOC decision sent out a “positive message” to clean athletes.

“If you are clean you can be successful and rewarded,” he said.