Rus­sia had it com­ing – Ram­samy

IOC’s sup­port of IAAF de­ci­sion to ban ath­letes gives them no chance of com­pet­ing un­der coun­try’s flag

CityPress - - Sport - S’BU­SISO MSE­LEKU and SAREL VAN DER WALT sm­se­leku@city­press.co.za ADNAAN MO­HAMED at Emi­rates Air­line Park sports@city­press.co.za

Rus­sian track and field ath­letes’ chances of tak­ing part in the Rio Olympics took a fur­ther nose­dive yes­ter­day when the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC) came out in sup­port of the In­ter­na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Athletics Fed­er­a­tion’s (IAAF) de­ci­sion to up­hold the coun­try’s athletics sus­pen­sion.

In a state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day, the IOC said it “fully re­spects” the rul­ing.

The state­ment fur­ther read that “the el­i­gi­bil­ity of ath­letes in any in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, in­clud­ing the Olympic Games, is a mat­ter for the re­spec­tive in­ter­na­tional fed­er­a­tion”.

South African-based IOC com­mit­tee mem­ber Dr Sam Ram­samy told City Press: “Rus­sia has had it com­ing since last year, as they ig­nored all warn­ings to ad­here to Wada (World Anti-Dop­ing Agency) reg­u­la­tions.

“The IAAF is well within their rights and is cor­rect in sus­pend­ing them.”

Ram­samy said “clean” and “in­no­cent” ath­letes would be el­i­gi­ble to com­pete, but not un­der the Rus­sian flag, only as “in­de­pen­dent” ath­letes.

“The IOC is not in the busi­ness of pun­ish­ing clean ath­letes, but to pro­tect them from un­fair com­pe­ti­tion,” said the Dur­ban-based veteran sports ad­min­is­tra­tor.

The UK’s Guardian yes­ter­day re­ported that Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin had re­acted pub­licly for the first time at a press con­fer­ence. He was quoted as say­ing: “Of course that is un­just and un­fair.

“There are uni­ver­sally recog­nised prin­ci­ples of law and one of them is that the re­spon­si­bil­ity should be al­ways per­son­i­fied – if some of the mem­bers of your fam­ily have com­mit­ted a crime, would it be fair to hold all the mem­bers of the fam­ily li­able, in­clud­ing you? That is not how it’s done.

“The peo­ple who have noth­ing to do with vi­o­la­tions, why should they suf­fer for those who com­mit­ted the vi­o­la­tions? That ac­tu­ally does not go into the frame­work of civilised be­hav­iour.”

He went fur­ther: “I hope that we will be able to find some so­lu­tion here, but of course that does not mean we are go­ing to be of­fended and say we are not go­ing to fight dop­ing. No. We will make the dop­ing fight fiercer.

“What is con­sid­ered to be dop­ing? Dop­ing is medicine that gives you ad­van­tage in com­pet­ing. Mel­do­nium does not give this ad­van­tage – it just keeps your heart mus­cle healthy dur­ing the ex­treme loads, and for many years it was not con­sid­ered to be dop­ing.

“But every­one has known that mel­do­nium was in­vented in the ter­ri­tory of the Soviet Union; it was taken only by ath­letes from Eastern Euro­pean coun­tries – every­one knew that well.”

All this fol­lows Fri­day’s IAAF de­ci­sion to up­hold the sus­pen­sion of Rus­sian track and field ath­letes taken in Novem­ber.

The de­ci­sion means they will be in­el­i­gi­ble to par­take at the Rio Games in Au­gust.

Also, the city of Rio de Janeiro on Fri­day an­nounced an “eco­nomic state of emer­gency” with act­ing gov­er­nor Fran­cisco Dor­nelles say­ing a “se­ri­ous eco­nomic cri­sis” could lead to Rio not be­ing able to meet all its obli­ga­tions with re­gards to the Games.

The city is cov­er­ing most of the ex­penses while the Brazil­ian govern­ment is re­spon­si­ble for trans­port and polic­ing, among other things.

The coun­try’s act­ing pres­i­dent, Michel Te­mer, has promised fi­nan­cial aid.

Ac­cord­ing to the Brazil­ians, the cause of the cri­sis is a short­age in tax from es­pe­cially the oil in­dus­try.

In ad­di­tion, the Brazil­ian econ­omy is cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a se­ri­ous re­ces­sion.

Wada had been the first to wel­come the IAAF’s de­ci­sion to up­hold the sus­pen­sion im­posed on the Rus­sian fed­er­a­tion last Novem­ber af­ter a com­pre­hen­sive in­ves­ti­ga­tion by the anti-dop­ing body laid bare the South Africa – (3) 32

Ire­land – (19) 26

The Spring­boks snatched vic­tory from the jaws of de­feat when they came back from a hap­less first-half dis­play to beat Ire­land in the sec­ond test in Jo­han­nes­burg last night.

They did just enough to level the three-match se­ries at one test each. The se­ries will now be de­cided next week with a mouth-wa­ter­ing clash at the Nel­son Man­dela Bay Sta­dium in Port El­iz­a­beth.

Af­ter last week’s em­bar­rass­ing 20-26 loss in the first test at New­lands, few peo­ple could have pre­dicted that the Boks could per­form worse than they did. How­ever, that is ex­actly what hap­pened in the first half last night. The Boks were shock­ing in the first 40 min­utes. There was sim­ply no other way to de­scribe their in­ept dis­play.

It was ar­guably the poor­est first-half per­for­mance from a Spring­bok team in the his­tory of the game. It was so bad that the 60 000 spec­ta­tors at El­lis Park showed their dis­plea­sure by boo­ing the Boks off as they ran off at the field at half-time.

One won­ders what Bok coach Al­lis­ter Coet­zee said to his play­ers at the break. He was left with no op­tion but to ring the changes. He brought on home town favourites War­ren White­ley and Ruan Com­brinck in place of Duane Ver­meulen and Lwazi Mvovo, re­spec­tively. Af­ter the Boks came un­der the pump in the scrums, he also de­cided to re­place his props Frans Mal­herbe and Beast Mtawarira with Julian Redel­inghuys and Trevor Nyakane.

Wil­lie le Roux’s tac­ti­cal kick­ing was not ac­cu­rate enough es­pe­cially in the first half. The cap­taincy ini­tially also left a lot to be de­sired. Adri­aan Strauss de­cided to go for the op­tion of a line-out in the cor­ner in­stead of tak­ing the three points on of­fer. The Boks didn’t ex­e­cute prop­erly and the op­por­tu­nity was missed. Strauss also made nu­mer­ous er­rors with ball in hand. It seemed as if the pres­sure of the cap­taincy af­fected the qual­ity of his play.

In con­trast, the Ir­ish made full use of their op­por­tu­ni­ties. The Ir­ish bom­barded the Boks with high balls, es­pe­cially left winger Lwazi Mvovo, who had a night­mare. Ire­land’s first score, by bean­pole lock for­ward Devin Toner, came di­rectly as a re­sult of a mis­take by Mvovo.

The Boks then gave it their all. They left it re­ally late, but fi­nally found rhythm and co­he­sion. Tries by re­place­ment winger Com­brinck – named man of the match – as well as num­ber 8 White­ley and pow­er­ful cen­tre Damian de Al­lende were just enough. The 2011 World Cham­pi­onships and 2012 Olympic Games 800m gold medal­list was go­ing to be Caster Se­menya’s main ri­val in Rio. How­ever, she and Eka­te­rina Pois­to­gova are among the medal-win­ning ath­letes from Rus­sia who have been ac­cused of dop­ing.

PHOTO: FOTO DEAAN VIVIER / FOTO24

SPARK­ING A COME­BACK Ruan Com­brinck dives over for his first test try in the test last night in Joburg. The winger was named man of the match

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