Russians Banned From Rio
Russians cheating? Duh! Add the IAAF to the list who say, “Duh!’ The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) today extended a ban that will keep Russia’s track and field athletes out of the Rio Olympics…..pretty much.
A World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission report released last November said Russia was running a state-sponsored doping program in athletics.
A report in USA Today says the Russians have made an effort to clean up their act, but not enough to allow them to compete in Rio this summer.
“In particular, the deep-seated culture of tolerance, or worse, for doping, that got RusAF suspended in the first place appears not to have been changed materially, to date,” said IAAF task force chairman Rune Andersen. “The head coach of the Russian athletic team and many of the athletes on that team appear unwilling to acknowledge the nature and extent of the doping problem in Russian athletics, and certain athletes and coaches appear willing to ignore the doping rules. A strong and effective anti-doping infrastructure capable of detecting and deterring doping has still not been created.”
The council is recommending that there be a way for clean Russian athletes and whistle-blowers like Yuliya Stepanova to compete as “a neutral athlete.” That measure could just be suggested as a way to head off legal challenges that might arise from the decision.