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WADA calls for Russian athletics ban over doping scandal

By Jak Phillips    09 Nov 2015
Wada commission leader Dick Pound said Russia seemed to have been running a 'state-supported' doping programme / Flickr.com / Around the rings1992

A World Anti-Doping Agency commission report into allegations of doping, cover-ups, and extortion in Russian athletics has recommended that the country should be banned from athletics competition.

Five Russian coaches and five Russian athletes should be handed lifetime doping bans, according to the report, which alleges the country seemed to have been running a "state-supported" doping programme. Meanwhile, Interpol has indicated that it will be co-ordinating a global investigation into the suspected corruption and doping.

The report was commissioned to "determine the accuracy" of allegations made in a German TV documentary about Russian athletics last December. The documentary alleged widespread doping in Russian athletics, corruption, bribery and the intimidation of doping control officers by Russian security service FSB.

Wada’s independent report into the allegations also criticises the sport's world governing body, the IAAF. It says "systemic failures" in the IAAF prevent an "effective" anti-doping programme and concludes that the London 2012 Olympics were "sabotaged" by the governing body’s failure to take action against Russian athletes with suspicious doping profiles.

Responding to the report, IAAF president Lord Coe described the WADA findings as alarming and said he would consult IAAF council members in deciding what sanctions could be taken against the Russian athletics federation.

Russia has flatly denied all allegations, with sport minister Vitaly Mutko’s initial rebuttal followed up by statements from Russian track and field federation, RusAthletics.

"Any suspension should be discussed at the meeting of the IAAF in November," the acting head of RusAthletics, Vadim Zelechenok, told R-Sport channel.

"It should be proven that any violations were the fault of the federation and not individual sportspeople. We should be given a chance to clear our names."

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