BERLIN, Germany, Feb 9 – Germany’s Olympic discus champion Christoph Harting has called for International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach to resign over Russia’s doping scandal, in a hard-hitting interview published on Thursday.
“Thomas Bach should resign so that the IOC will be able to have a new face, who stands for clean sport and consistent action,” the 26-year-old Harting told the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper.
“The Olympic ideals suffered a lot of damage and lost credibility in the last few years.
“There is now a need for reforms that are transparent, comprehensible, consistent and sustainable, otherwise I see the Olympics slowly dying until 2040.”
Bach was heavily criticised in Germany last year for not taking a harder stance on drugs cheats.
The 63-year-old took flak after the IOC declined to impose a blanket ban on all Russian competitors for August’s Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games after a World Anti-Doping Agency probe found evidence of a wide-ranging cheating system directed from the top.
Harting, 26, the younger brother of Germany’s 2012 Olympic champion Robert, says it is right that Russian athletes remain banned from the world athletics championships in London from August 5-13.
Russian participation is unlikely in London as world athletics governing body, the IAAF, has again prolonged the ban on their athletes competing until it is proven that they are regularly tested.
Harting believes athletes who deliberately use doping substances should be banned for life.
“I would, however, give a second chance to all those who unintentionally tested positive, for example because of contaminated food,” he added.