Russia banned from athletics over doping scandal

IAAF President, Lord Coe

Russia has been provisionally suspended from athletics by the sport’s governing body amid a doping scandal.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) sanction followed a damning report from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which levelled allegations of state-sponsored doping against Russia.

Its members voted 22-1 to oust the Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF) from the sport with immediate effect – nine months before the 2016 Olympic Games get underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

IAAF President, Lord Coe, said the suspension was the toughest sanction at the governing body’s disposal and called the Wada report a “shameful wake-up call” for athletics.

While the ban is in effect, Russian athletes will not be allowed to participate in any international competition and the country will also not be entitled to host the World Race Walking Team Championships and World Junior Championships next year.

The BBC quoted Russian Sports Minister, Vitaly Mutko, as saying the suspension was “temporary” and the “problem is solvable”.

“Today we have been dealing with the failure of Araf and made the decision to provisionally suspend them, the toughest sanction we can apply at this time,” Lord Coe said in a statement.

“But we discussed and agreed that the whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia, but around the world. This has been a shameful wake-up call and we are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated. There can be no more important focus for our sport.”