Great Britain's International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Adam Pengilly has called for Russia to be banned from the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympic Games, over the ongoing doping crisis that has engulfed the sport. Pengilly, who is a two-time Olympian, feels that the country must be punished for bringing the Olympics into disrepute.
"The scale, coordination and leadership of a doping system like this is arguably the most heinous crime possible against the Olympic movement. So somewhat reluctantly, I am led to one conclusion, exclusion from Rio", Pengilly said to the BBC.
Pengilly, who is a member of the IOC's Athletes Commission, and one of four British IOC members received praise in 2013 for bringing up the issue of doping before the vote to decided the host of the 2020 Olympic Games, questioning both Spain and Turkey during their bid presentations in Buenos Aires.
"I say reluctantly because there are very probably clean Russian athletes, and they will suffer, and this is nothing short of terrible. It's an incredibly tough decision. There's no fair outcome for everyone. The Russian flag should not be flown at the Rio Olympic Games", the former Olympian added.
Russia found itself in the midst of controversy after Professor Richard McLaren's independent two-month investigation report came out on 18 July, which supported allegations of widespread state-sponsored doping at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
The report has led to widespread calls to ban Russia from the upcoming Olympics, with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) exploring legal options before deciding whether to implement a collective ban on all Russian competitor for the summer event, with a decision by the executive board expected to come on 24 July (Sunday).
Russia has already lost its Olympic track and field team, as its athletes are banned from the Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled against them.