Athletics doping: Russia provisionally suspended by IAAF

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Nov 14, 2021

Russia's athletics federation has been provisionally suspended from international competition - including the Olympic Games - for its alleged involvement in widespread doping.

The IAAF took action after the publication of an independent World Anti-Doping Agency,WADA, report that alleged "state-sponsored doping". Its council members voted 22-1 in favour of Russia being banned.

"This is a wake-up call for all of us," said IAAF president Lord Coe.

He told BBC Sport: "Our sport finds itself in a shameful situation. "I am wholly focused on the changes that need to be made. I have openly conceded that we need to learn some very tough lessons.

"We need to look at ourselves, within our sport, and we will do that."

Russia's Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said the suspension was "temporary" and the "problem is solvable".

The country's IAAF council member was not allowed to participate in Friday's vote.

Implications

As it stands, Russian athletes may not enter international competitions, including the World Athletic Series and Rio Olympics, which begin on 5 August next year.

Russia will also not be entitled to host the 2016 World Race Walking Cup in Cheboksary and the 2016 World Junior Championships in Kazan.

The IAAF says that unless the Russian Athletics Federation (Araf) voluntarily accepts a full suspension, it is entitled to proceed to a full hearing on whether the provisional suspension should be made full.

Former sprinter Frankie Fredericks, head of the IAAF athletes commission, added: "We are angry at the damage being caused to the reputation and credibility of athletics and are united alongside our president to not shy away from the major challenges that face our sport."

Mutko said on Thursday that Russia is "against a boycott" and "against political interference in sport", adding the country is a "dependable partner of the international Olympic movement".

Russian President Vladimir Putin also demanded co-operation with doping authorities, saying: "The battle must be open. A sporting contest is only interesting when it is honest."

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said he expected Russia to "co-operate to make progress" towards being compliant with Wada to ensure participation at Rio 2016.

BBC