Coe praises ‘can­did’ Rus­sian apol­ogy

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LON­DON: Global ath­let­ics boss Se­bas­tian Coe praised what he de­scribed as a can­did apol­ogy from Rus­sia over a dop­ing scan­dal on Thurs­day but re­it­er­ated it was not the mo­ment for the coun­try to be read­mit­ted to the sport.

Rus­sia’s ath­let­ics boss Dmitry Shy­lakhtin told an IAAF Congress, held on the eve of the World Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships, that his coun­try’s ban from the sport was cor­rect and that he was de­ter­mined to fight dop­ing.

He said he was sorry to “all ath­letes who have had gold and sil­ver medals snatched from them at com­pe­ti­tions.”

De­spite his com­ments, the IAAF Congress voted in favour of main­tain­ing the ban, im­posed in Novem­ber 2015 af­ter a World Anti-Dop­ing Agency (WADA) re­port found ev­i­dence of state-spon­sored dop­ing in Rus­sia.

“I thought it was a very can­did re­sponse to­day, a very can­did pre­sen­ta­tion,” IAAF pres­i­dent Coe told re­porters.

“The whole Coun­cil and the whole Congress was pleased...that the Rus­sian fed­er­a­tion recog­nised them­selves that they have been through some pretty tor­rid times and are do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to make sure the fed­er­a­tion is reengi­neered.”

Coe said he was also “pleased” that Rus­sia ac­cepted the cri­te­ria for its rein­tro­duc­tion.

“I think it was a very con­struc­tive day and I think progress is be­ing made, but the (Congress) sup­ports the rec­om­men­da­tions of the task force that this was not the mo­ment to re­in­state Rus­sia,” said Coe.

“We need to do ev­ery­thing over the next few months to nor­malise this sit­u­a­tion.”

“The guid­ing prin­ci­ple has al­ways been that we wanted to sep­a­rate the clean ath­letes from the tainted sys­tem,” he added

The head of the IAAF’s Task Force, Rune An­der­sen, said on Mon­day that Rus­sia had yet to meet sev­eral of the cri­te­ria for re­in­state­ment.

Drug-test­ing was still in­suf­fi­cient and banned coaches were still op­er­at­ing freely, he told re­porters in Lon­don af­ter a pre­sen­ta­tion to the IAAF Coun­cil. Reuters

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