WADA panel calls for Russia's suspension from athletics
A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission report has recommended suspension of Russia from all world athletics competition here on Monday
Geneva: A World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) commission report has recommended suspension of Russia from all world athletics competition here on Monday. The commission examined allegations of doping, cover-ups, and extortion in Russian athletics and also implicated the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for failure to address these pressing issues.
The commission also wants five athletes and five coaches to get lifetime doping bans. The report also said there were "systemic failures" in the IAAF that prevented an "effective" anti-doping program. "We communicated the report to WADA last Thursday," Dick Pound, the chairman of the commission and former WADA boss, was quoted as saying by BBC.
The report was "essentially limited to Russia and athletics", he added. "We have provided WADA with sanction packages on individuals who had not been previously identified, identified possible criminal incidents, made findings and recommendations on the Russian laboratory, reported on interference with doping controls up to and including this year, and found cover-ups and payments of money to conceal doping tests," Pound was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"Since Russia is the particular country involved in the matter investigated, it is appropriate to say the commission organised a special meeting with the Russian minister of sport. He invited the commission to make recommendations that would allow Russia to contribute (to making Russia) a non-doping country."
"We advised the minister in advance he would not be pleased with the recommendations. He is going to have to live with that. We hope that Russia will take a lead (now)," he added. The report said that the London 2012 Olympics were "sabotaged" by the "widespread inaction" by the IAAF and the Russian athletics federation against Russian athletes who had suspicious doping profiles.
"The IC (independent commission) has noted a cumulative lapse of action from the IAAF, Russian athletics federation (ARAF) and Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) in conjunction with pursuing suspicious profiles," the report stated. Following the damning report, IAAF president Sebastian Coe sought approval from his fellow IAAF council members to consider sanctions against the Russian athletics federation.
"The information in WADA's Independent Commissions Report is alarming. We need time to properly digest and understand the detailed findings included in the report. However, I have urged the Council to start the process of considering sanctions against ARAF. This step has not been taken lightly," Coe said in a statement on Monday.
"Our athletes, partners and fans have my total assurance that where there are failures in our governance or our anti-doping programmes we will fix them. We will do whatever it takes to protect the clean athletes and rebuild trust in our sport. The IAAF will continue to offer the police authorities our full co-operation into their ongoing investigation."
World police body Interpol also announced on Monday its plans of co-ordinating a global investigation led by France into the alleged international corruption scam involving sports officials as well as athletes suspected of a doping cover-up.
In another development, former IAAF president Lamine Diack should have his honorary membership of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended in the wake of his arrest on corruption charges, the IOC said on Monday.