The IAAF, an equivalent governing body to FINA for track & field, has provisionally suspended the Russian Athletics organization.
The move comes as a result of a World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) report earlier this week revealing findings by a commission that there is a systematic and pervasive doping culture in Russian sports that reaches to high levels of government.
The fallout from the report has centered largely around Russian Athletics, more commonly known in the United States as track & field, and Russia has suspended the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) as a member immediately.
The decision was taken at today’s 201st IAAF Council Meeting which was held by teleconference and chaired from London by IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
Out of 24 Members of Council who participated in the meeting, 22 voted in favor of the sanction. One voted against, and Russia was ineligible to vote.
Among the punishments for Russia will be the stripping of hosting duties for the 2016 World Race Walking Team Championships and the 2016 World Junior Championships in Kazan, the city that recently hosted swimming’s 2015 World Aquatics Championships:
– athletes, and athlete support personnel from Russia may not compete in International Competitions including World Athletics Series competitions and the Olympic Games
– Russia will not be entitled to host the 2016 World Race Walking Team Championships (Cheboksary) and 2016 World Junior Championships (Kazan)*
– that ARAF delegates the conduct of all outstanding doping cases to CAS
The provisional suspension does not:
– prevent athletes in Russia from participating in domestic competitions
– remove or waive the obligations on international level athletes in Russia to comply with the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules, including continuing to be subject to out of competition testing
Unless the ARAF accepts the full suspension, the IAAF is entitled to proceed to a full hearing on whether the provisional suspension should be made a full suspension. To become reinstated, the ARAF would have to meet a list of criteria that includes submitting to a full inspection by a committee of experts and IAAF Council members.
“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. But we discussed and agreed that the whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia, but around the world,” said Coe, himself a two-time Olympic Champion and the newly-elected head of the governing body.
“This has been a shameful wake up call and we are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated,” Coe continued. “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.”
Statement from Frankie Fredericks on behalf of the IAAF Athletes Commission:
“The IAAF Athletes’ Commission is extremely disappointed and concerned regarding the recent developments and allegations directed at our sport.”
“We are angry at the damage being caused to the reputation and credibility of athletics and are united alongside our President to not shy away from the major challenges that face our sport. The athletes will work together to continue the process of cleaning up athletics to ensure those athletes training and competing cleanly are not tainted by the minority.
“We send a clear message to clean athletes in a dirty system to report any doping or cheating that they see or hear about. We are 100% in support of President Coe and believe that he is the leader that our sport needs to instigate the necessary actions swiftly and strongly.”