Date
12 December 2017
IAAF chief Sebastian Coe is seeking immediate sanctions against Russia after the anti-doping commission's report. Photo: The Guardian
IAAF chief Sebastian Coe is seeking immediate sanctions against Russia after the anti-doping commission's report. Photo: The Guardian

Olympic ban sought for Russian athletes after doping probe

Russia has engaged in state-sponsored doping, according to an independent anti-doping commission which is recommended its track and field athletes be banned from the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

The move by the World Anti-Doping Agency to suspend Russia would be among the most drastic taken against a national sports federation, the Wa;; Street Journal reports.

Russian sports officials took part in a systemic and state-sponsored doping program for several years, including in the run-up to and during the Sochi Winter Olympic Games in 2014, the agency said in a report released in Geneva on Monday.

The investigation was focused on track and field but its findings on the corruption of Russia’s anti-doping organization and its Ministry of Sport suggested that other sports were involved.

Russian officials on Monday said they were reviewing the findings but said the anti-doping commission does not have authority to suspend Russian athletes from Olympic competition.

Other Russian officials immediately tried to cast the commission’s report as part of a political vendetta by the West against Russia.

Sebastian Coe, president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), track and field’s global governing body,  said the report’s findings were alarming, adding he has asked the sport’s leadership council to immediately begin considering sanctions against the Russian track and field federation (ARAF).

The IAAF said measures under discussion include provisional and full suspension of ARAF from future global track events.

A spokesman for the International Olympic Committee called the report “deeply shocking”.

In a statement, the IOC said the IAAF should do “whatever it takes to protect the clean athletes and rebuild trust in our sport”, leaving the door open for the suspension of Russia’s athletics team.

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