IAAF vote to suspend Russia from all international athletics

IAAF vote to suspend Russia from all international athletics

Russia has been provisionally suspended from all international athletics competitions by the IAAF.

The move, which comes after last week’s revelations by the World Anti-Doping Agency, was passed almost unanimously in a vote of IAAF Council members on Friday night.

Of 23 eligible council members, 22 voted in favour of the sanction with one voting against. The member for Russia was ineligible to vote.

The provisional suspension is almost certain to be made permanent by a disciplinary panel following a formal process which is likely to be launched next week.

Under the terms of the suspension, no Russian athlete or support staff will be entitled to participate in international events including the Olympic Games – although the chances of Russia being excluded from Rio next year look slim.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach has already indicated that he expects Russia to compete in Brazil, and Russian officials will be determined to work to fulfil the criteria required to have the suspension lifted before next summer.

However, one consequence of the suspension is that Russia will lose its hosting rights to both the 2016 World Race Walking Cup, which was scheduled to take place in Cheboksary, and the 2016 World Junior Championships in Kazan.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe, who hosted the meeting via teleconference in London, said: “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.

“This has been a shameful wake up call and we are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated.

“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.”

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