Putin compares Russian doping ban at Olympics to prison sentence
Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned the IAAF's ban of Russian track and field athletes as unfair, according to the Associated Press.
Russia’s track and field team will not be allowed to compete in the Rio Olympics, the International Association of Athletics Federations determined on Friday. Russian athletes have been banned from international competition since a World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission report from November concluded that Russia was running a state-sponsored doping program in track and field.
Putin met with members of the foreign media and said the IAAF meted out “collective” punishment that hurts clean Russian athletes. He believes “clean athletes shouldn't suffer.” He also compared the punishment to a prison sentence in that “an entire family” would have to serve for one relative having committing a crime.
Several athletes may still be able to compete independently at the Olympics if they made “an extraordinary contribution to the fight against doping.” That includes the case of Yulia Stepanova, who blew the whistle and revealed the Russian doping practices and regimen through recordings, emails and texts to the World Anti-Doping Agency. The IOC will consider her case.