Nov 18, 2015

    Anti-doping groups call for Russia's Olympic ban


    LEADERS of the world's most prominent national anti-doping bodies on Monday called for Russian track and field athletes to be banned from next year's Olympics, saying the sanction was necessary to deter drug cheats.

    A statement from the Institute of National Anti-Doping Organisations (iNADO), a 53-member umbrella group made the call on the eve of a key World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) meeting in Colorado Springs.

    Britain's David Kenworthy, the chairman of iNADO and head of UK Anti-Doping, said in a statement the vast state-supported doping programme detailed by Wada's Independent Commission last week was a "tragedy for sport."

    Wada's commission recommended Russia and its national governing body for athletics be banned for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

    On Friday, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) provisionally suspended Russia from all international competition.

    However, the IAAF action fell short of stating explicitly that Russian athletes would be barred from the Olympics, raising the prospect that they would be allowed to compete after all.

    But in a statement issued after an iNADO meeting in Colorado on Monday, Mr Kenworthy said Russian athletes needed to be banned to send a message.

    "The ARAF - Russia's national federation for athletics - and its athletes must be suspended from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games," he said.

    "The corruption in Russian Athletics deserves no less. ARAF has not demonstrated that they are capable of sending a clean team to Games.

    "A strong deterrent message must be sent that national federations cannot participate in the highest levels of competition when anti-doping has been intentionally subverted.

    "The actions by the ARAF, which deliberately flouted the rules of sport, have tainted all Russian athletes in the sport of Athletics."

    Wada is expected to rule against Russia's anti-doping body when it meets in Colorado this week, a key session which will aim to build a framework for new strategies in the global war on drug cheats.