Russia provisionally suspended by athletics ruling body

GERMAN PRESS AGENCY - DPA
BERLIN
Published 13.11.2015 23:44
Updated 13.11.2015 23:59

Athletics giant Russia was provisionally suspended from track and field on Friday over accusations of "state-sponsored" doping as the IAAF scrambled to salvage the sport's credibility just nine months out from the Rio Olympics.

"Today we have been dealing with the failure of ARAF (All-Russia Athletic Federation) and made the decision to provisionally suspend them, the toughest sanction we can apply at this time," IAAF president Sebastian Coe said.

"But we discussed and agreed that the whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia, but around the world.

"This has been a shameful wake-up call and we are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated."

Russian Mikhail Butov, an IAAF council member and ARAF secretary general, presented his country's position before 24 of the 27-strong IAAF Council chaired by Coe.

But the council returned a vote of 22 for and 1 against, the simple majority confirming a suspension for Russia, who were accused of widespread doping by an independent commission set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in a report which has shaken track and field, one of the Olympic Games' flagship sports.

In that report, commission head Dick Pound, a former president of WADA, called for Russia to be suspended for 2016 "so that they can take the remedial work in time to make sure that Russian athletes can compete under a new framework".

The IAAF said the consequences of the provisional suspension were that "athletes and athlete support personnel from Russia may not compete in International Competitions including World Athletic Series competitions and the Olympic Games".

It also means Russia "will not be entitled to host the 2016 World Race Walking Cup (Cheboksary) and 2016 World Junior Championships (Kazan)".
The IAAF added: "To regain membership to the IAAF the new federation would have to fulfil 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."

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