Russian athletes must be banned from Rio Olympics
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