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Russia Banned From All Track and Field Competitions Including Rio 2016 – Are More Sports Next ?

by John Symon

November 14, 2015 (London, GBR) – The Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has provisionally suspended the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) as an IAAF Member with immediate effect according to a news release on the IAAF site. Following a teleconference meeting, 24 member countries voted 22-1 to expel Russia. The Russian delegate, being unable to vote on the motion, abstained. These are further reverberations following allegations of systemic doping in Russia as first revealed by the German TV broadcaster ARD in late 2014 (click here) and our previous report here.

 Dick Pound  ©  WADA
Following these allegations, Canadians Dick Pound of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and Western law professor Richard McLaren co-wrote a damning 325-page report that has now forced the IAAF to act.

“Today we have been dealing with the failure of ARAF and made the decision to provisionally suspend them, the toughest sanction we can apply at this time. But we discussed and agreed that the whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia, but around the world,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe. He chaired the teleconference from London, England.

It is now questionable whether Russia will compete in athletics at the Rio 2016 Games from Aug. 5-21 next year. But given allegations of systemic doping within the Russian system, there are also questions about whether other sports are also involved and if further bans can be expected. As per our previous reporting, while the focus is on track and field, other sports such as cycling, swimming, weightlifting and winter sports are also mentioned.

Consequences Of The Provisional Suspension

– athletes, and athlete support personnel from Russia may not compete in International Competitions including World Athletics Series competitions and the Olympic Games

– Russia will not be entitled to host the 2016 World Race Walking Team Championships (Cheboksary) and 2016 World Junior Championships (Kazan)*

– that ARAF delegates the conduct of all outstanding doping cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)

The Provisional Suspension Does Not:

– prevent athletes in Russia from participating in domestic competitions

– remove or waive the obligations on international level athletes in Russia to comply with the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules, including continuing to be subject to out of competition testing

* IAAF will announce the reallocation or cancellation of these two IAAF World Athletics Series events as soon as possible.

Next Steps

– Unless ARAF voluntarily accepts a full suspension, the IAAF is entitled to proceed to a full hearing on whether the provisional suspension should be made a full suspension.

– To regain membership to the IAAF the new federation would have to fulfill a list of criteria. An inspection team led by Independent Chair Rune Andersen, an independent international anti-doping expert (Norwegian) and three members of the IAAF Council who will be appointed in the next few days.

President Sebastian Coe also took the Council through his reform program, asking Paul Deighton, former CEO of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and UK Government Minister, to oversee the program which will be carried out by Deloitte.

Forensic accountants from Deloitte and the leading legal firm Freshfields began work at the IAAF HQ yesterday. He also told the Council that he will create an integrity unit for athletics consisting of an independent integrity board and review panels.

The unit will cover all areas of integrity for international level athletes and athlete support personnel (anti-doping, illegal betting, anti-corruption, transfers of allegiance and age manipulation).

Earlier this month, McLaren spoke to media, saying: “This report is going to be a real game-changer for sport,” says McLaren. “Unlike FIFA where you have a bunch of old men who put a whole lot of extra money in their pockets, here you potentially have a bunch of old men who put a whole lot of extra money in their pockets – through extortion and bribes – but also caused significant changes to actual results and final standings of international athletics competitions.”

Stay tuned to Pedal for further developments…

IAAF release here.

U. of Western Ontario release here.

The Guardian here.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Ben Aroundo, ON, Canada says:

    I just hope it’s not anti Russia propaganda like a form of sanctions. According to Youtube reports Russia is the next domino to be destroyed after Syria. Saving China for last.

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