Rus­sian ath­letes must be banned from Rio Olympics

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BERLIN: Rus­sia’s track and field ath­letes should be banned from com­pet­ing at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in or­der to send a strong sig­nal against dop­ing, the In­sti­tute of Na­tional Dop­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tions (IN­ADO) said yes­ter­day.

“The ARAF - Rus­sia’s na­tional fed­er­a­tion for ath­let­ics - and its ath­letes must be sus­pended from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro sum­mer Olympic Games. The cor­rup­tion in Rus­sian ath­let­ics de­serves no less,” IN­ADO, the Ger­many-based um­brella or­gan­i­sa­tion with 53 mem­bers world­wide, said in a state­ment. “ARAF has not demon­strated that they are ca­pa­ble of send­ing a clean team to Games. A strong de­ter­rent mes­sage must be sent that na­tional fed­er­a­tions can­not par­tic­i­pate in the high­est lev­els of com­pe­ti­tion when anti-dop­ing has been in­ten­tion­ally sub­verted.”

The In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF) sus­pended ARAF last week fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions of wide­spread and state-spon­sored dop­ing as de­tailed in a World Anti-Dop­ing Agency in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion re­port.

Rus­sia has since an­nounced a three­month road map to clean up its act, with the na­tion’s Olympic Com­mit­tee lead­ing ef­forts to en­sure hon­est ath­letes can com­pete at the 2016 Games.

Rus­sia said on Sun­day it would ask the world ath­let­ics body to al­low its ath­letes to com­pete un­der an Olympic ban­ner rather than the Rus­sian flag to cir­cum­vent a ban, but the idea was quickly brushed aside by the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC). “The ac­tions by the ARAF, which de­lib­er­ately flouted the rules of sport, have tainted all Rus­sian ath­letes in the sport of Ath­let­ics,” IN­ADO said.

“The cor­rup­tion of anti-dop­ing un­cov­ered by the in­de­pen­dent com­mis­sion is a tragedy for sport and for clean ath­letes every­where. It re­in­forces the need for an­ti­dop­ing work to be con­ducted in­de­pen­dent of sport or­gan­i­sa­tions and with­out gov­ern­ment in­ter­fer­ence. — Reuters

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