Russia suspended from athletics
14 November 2015, Nirapad News: 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.
What are the 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.”
‘Positive news’ for clean athletes
The Wada commission, led by chairman Dick Pound, suggested Araf, Russia’s anti-doping agency (Rusada) and the Russian Federation as a whole could not be considered anti-doping code-compliant, because of what it claimed was widespread cheating.
The report claimed to have evidence of “direct intimidation and interference by the Russian state with the Moscow laboratory operations”, while Rusada gave athletes advance notice of tests, hid missed tests, bullied doping control officers and their families and took bribes to cover up missed tests, it said.
According to the commission’s findings, London 2012 was “sabotaged” by “widespread inaction” against athletes with suspicious doping profiles.
In a statement on Friday, a Wada spokesperson said: “The decision is positive news for clean athletes worldwide.”
Will Russia boycott the Olympics in protest?
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.