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November 10, 2015

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Home » Sports » Doping

WADA report calls for Russia ban

RUSSIAN athletics should be suspended from all competition, including the 2016 Olympic Games, a damning report by World Anti-Doping Agency’s independent commission into widespread doping and corruption urged yesterday.

“The IC (Independent commission) has recommended that the IAAF suspend ARAF (Russian athletics federation),” concluded the report set up to investigate the scandal that has rocked athletics, the flagship sport of the Olympics.

The long-awaited findings of former WADA chief Dick Pound’s three-man commission claimed Russian doping “could not have happened’ without government consent”.

“For 2016 our recommendation is that the Russian Federation be suspended, in fact one of our hopes is that they will volunteer that, so that they can take the remedial work in time to make sure that Russian athletes can compete under a new framework if you like,” Pound told a press conference in Geneva after the devastatingly critical report was released.

WADA, which called for five Russian athletes, including 800 meters Olympic winner Mariya Savinova, to be given lifetime bans, suggested the presence of doped athletes had “sabotaged” the 2012 Games in London.

The report, which said “systematic doping” extended beyond Russia and athletics, also wants to see Moscow’s anti-doping laboratory stripped of its accreditation and its director fired.

“It’s disappointing to see the nature and the extent of what was going on,” Pound added.

“It’s worse than we thought, it has the effect, unlike other forms of corruption of actually effecting the results on the field of play...If you can’t believe results then there is a serious credibility problem. I hope all sports will look at their governance and their anti-doping systems because their existence may be at risk.”

IAAF president Sebastian Coe, giving his first reaction in London, said in a statement that the report’s conclusions were “alarming” but he had begun the process “of considering sanctions against ARAF”.

“We need time to properly digest and understand the detailed findings included in the report,” Coe said. “However, I have urged the Council to start the process of considering sanctions against ARAF.”

The crisis in athletics — already viewed as more damaging than the corruption scandal engulfing world football governing body FIFA — first erupted with allegations of doping aired in a German TV documentary in December 2014.

That program claimed Russian track and field was plagued by doping.

In a first reaction, Russia’s sports minister Vitali Mutko said that the WADA commission cannot take the decision to suspend Russia from competition.

“There is no need to get confused, the commission does not have the right to suspend anyone,” Mutko told RIA Novosti news agency, saying Russian authorities would release a fuller statement later.


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