Coe ready for IAAF to rule on Rus­sia re­turn

‘It’s im­por­tant ath­letes get an­swers to an im­por­tant ques­tion: do you trust the sys­tem?’

Gulf Times Sport - - FRONT PAGE -

World ath­let­ics chief Se­bas­tian Coe told AFP Wed­nes­day that a de­ci­sion on whether or not Rus­sia will have their ban from in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion lifted “will prob­a­bly” be made in De­cem­ber.

How­ever Coe, the pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tions (IAAF), ad­mit­ted that “we will have to wait and see” if WADA, the global anti-dop­ing body, was right to lift its three-year ban on Rus­sia’s own anti-dop­ing agency.

The ban was in­tro­duced in 2015 af­ter Rus­sia’s min­istry of sport and secret ser­vice were found guilty of mas­ter­mind­ing in­sti­tu­tional dop­ing.

Now, the spot­light is on Coe to al­low Rus­sia back into in­ter­na­tional track and field com­pe­ti­tion when the IAAF Coun­cil meets in Monaco on De­cem­ber 4.

When asked if there will be a de­ci­sion on re­in­state­ment, 62-year-old Coe told AFP: “Yes there will be”.

“There’ll be a meet in the com­ing weeks with the Rus­sian Ath­let­ics Fed­er­a­tion, as we have al­ways done in the past, we will wait for the rec­om­men­da­tions of the work­ing group and the Coun­cil will de­lib­er­ate ac­cord­ing to my rec­om­men­da­tion.

“But yes, there will prob­a­bly be some de­ci­sion at the Coun­cil meet­ing in De­cem­ber in Monaco.”

Coe had said fol­low­ing WADA’s con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion to lift the ban that Rus­sia needed to meet two pre-con­di­tions to be al­lowed to re­turn to in­ter­na­tional ath­let­ics com­pe­ti­tion.

Firstly, Rus­sian author­i­ties must ac­knowl­edge the find­ings of re­ports that sports min­istry of­fi­cials were im­pli­cated in the scheme to cover up the dop­ing of Rus­sian ath­letes.

And se­condly Rus­sian author­i­ties must pro­vide ac­cess to the data from test­ing of sam­ples at the Moscow lab­o­ra­tory from 2011-2015, so that the Ath­let­ics In­tegrity Unit can de­ter­mine whether the sus­pi­cious find­ings re­ported in the Moscow lab’s data­base should be pur­sued.

Coe said time will tell if WADA — who were ac­cused of be­tray­ing clean ath­letes by their de­ci­sion to lift their Rus­sia ban — were right.

“We’ll have to see. It is very im­por­tant that ath­letes can get an­swers to a very im­por­tant ques­tion and that it is sim­ple: do you trust the sys­tem?” said Coe.

“The ath­letes ask that ques­tion, so the IAAF, WADA, the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee — all those or­gan­i­sa­tions have to give ev­i­dence to the clean ath­letes that the sys­tem is a clean sys­tem.

“The phi­los­o­phy of the IAAF was very clear. It was to try to sep­a­rate the clean ath­letes from a con­tam­i­nated sys­tem, and that is why we have a neu­tral sta­tus for Rus­sian ath­letes.

“But, of course, it has to be our am­bi­tion to have Rus­sian ath­letes again rep­re­sent­ing their coun­try. That has to be the fi­nal goal.”

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