IAAF president Seb Coe has given Russia until the end of the week to respond to the report the World Anti-Doping Agency released Monday about Russian athletics doping and corruption by officials within the International Association of Athletics Federations.
WADA has recommended that the IAAF ban Russia from international competition, which includes next summer’s 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
“I want an explanation for the allegations that have been made today,” Coe told the Associated Press.
In its report, WADA found that Moscow lab chief Grigory Rodchenko intentionally destroyed 1,417 doping samples despite WADA’s request to review them. WADA has recommended lifetime bans for five Russian athletes and five coaches, including Rodchenko.
Over the weekend, Coe said he would not rule out banning Russia from competition.
“I’m never saying never, but my instinct is that these things are better changed through engagement not isolation,” Coe said.
Vadim Zelichenok, acting President of the All-Russia Athletics Federation, says Wada’s recommendation to ban Russia from the Olympics did not allow them a fair hearing.
“This contradicts the rules,” Zelichenok told the R-Sport news agency. “There is an IAAF Constitution. This issue should be considered at the IAAF Council in November. We must be given the opportunity to prove our innocence.”
The International Olympic Committee found WADA's report “deeply shocking” and said it will “take all necessary measures” with regards to Russia’s misconduct.
“This is a deeply shocking report and very saddening for the world of sport,” the IOC said in a statement. “The protection of the clean athletes is a top priority for the International Olympic Committee. This is why in Olympic Agenda 2020 the IOC has undertaken far reaching measures in this commitment. With regard to the Olympic Games, the IOC will continue to take whatever measures needed to safeguard clean athletes, clean sport and good governance.
“The IOC will also carefully study the report with regard to the Olympic Games. If any infringements on the anti-doping rules by athletes and or their entourage should be established, the IOC will react with its usual zero tolerance policy. We support the attempt of the independent commission to bring all the facts to light in the interest of the integrity of the sport and the protection of the cleans athletes. The IOC trusts that the new leadership of the IAAF with its President Sebastian Coe will draw all the necessary conclusions and will take all the necessary measures.”
Russia finished fourth on the 2012 Olympic country standings with 82 medals, 18 of which were won on the track.
- Christopher Chavez