Daily Management Review

Russia Suspended from All Competitions by World Athletics Governing Body


Russia Suspended from All Competitions by World Athletics Governing Body
An unprecedented step of suspending Russia from all competitions in the wake of revelations of state-sponsored doping was announced by the governing body of world athletics.
The revelations had been a “shameful wake up call” following a vote of the organisation’s council on Friday night after a three-and-a-half-hour meeting, said Sebastian Coe, the president of the International Association of Atheletics Federations (IAAF).
The international athletic body voted 22-1 in favor of provisionally suspending Russia even as the Russian council member Mikhail Butov outlined Russia’s response to the devastating findings of a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) independent report.
“We have been dealing with the failure of [the All Russia Athletic Federation] and made the decision to provisionally suspend them, the toughest sanction we can apply at this time,” said Lord Coe, adding that the system had failed 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. To this end, the IAAF,  Wada, the member federations and athletes need to look closely at ourselves, our cultures and our processes to identify where failures exist and be tough in our determination to fix them and rebuild trust in our sport. There can be no more important focus for our sport,” Coe added.
While promising that the country would do whatever was required to avoid missing next summer’s Rio Olympics, Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko said that collective punishments were “very unfair” and that key athletes were upset at the prospect.
Criticizing the IAAF, Mutko also claimed to Russia Today that the federation had hidden 155 test results since 2008 and that just 15 of those related to Russia.
While a formal hearing takes place, the IAAF’s provisional suspension will remain in place. It will result in the imposition of a number of conditions with which the Russians must comply before they are allowed back into the fold if the suspension is upheld.
In the coming days, an inspection team led by Norwegian anti-doping expert Rune Anderson would be formed, the IAAF said. Attention is then likely to shift to whether the Russian team will be readmitted before the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The suspension was welcomed by Wada and a spokesperson described the decision as “positive news for clean athletes worldwide”.

However a note of caution was sounded by the Usada chief executive, Travis Tygart. “While it is somewhat promising, the real test now is to ensure full justice and accountability for all their actions before being allowed to compete again,” he said.

Russia described the suspension decision as “very strange” and Mutko added: “Our reaction is calm. We didn’t expect anything else.”
He said Russia could be readmitted in time for the world indoor championships in March.