Ennis-Hill would have doubts over Russians in Rio


Jessica Ennis-Hill said she would have doubts over whether Russian athletes are playing by the rules if they are allowed to compete in the Rio Olympic Games this year.

The All-Russia Athletic Federation was banned by the IAAF last November after allegations of state-sponsored doping were made in the first part of a report by an independent commission established by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Athletics was then rocked by the second part of the report, which last week stated that corruption was "imbedded" in the IAAF and that the governing body must have known about the extent of doping in the sport.

Russian athletes are still banned from competing and it remains to be seen whether the suspension will be lifted before the Rio Games - which start on August 5.

Olympic and world heptathlon champion Ennis-Hill finished second behind Tatyana Chernova in the 2011 World Championships in Daegu and the Russian was later given a two-year ban for doping.

The Brit told the BBC that she would have concerns over whether Russian athletes are clean if they are given the go-ahead to compete in Brazil.

"I hope that if it gets to the stage where there are Russian athletes competing in the Rio Olympics, really drastic measures are put in place to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again," she said. 

"I'd be lying if I said that I wouldn't look at Russian athletes and think 'is everything 100 per cent okay?' It's just natural to any athlete to feel like that after these stories and situations that have arisen.

"But at the same time I will be there to do a job and I don't want to be distracted by what other people are doing and what they are wrongly doing, I'll just be there to focus on my performances." 

She added: "As an athlete competing at this time, it's really awful to see but at the same time you have to think that our sport has to go through this really terrible time.

"It has to go to the very bottom, to the darkest place for it to then rise and come out the other side.

"It is very close [to the bottom].There has been some really horrible stories to read and hear about. 

"You put your faith and confidence in organisations to make sure the sport is governed well - but obviously that hasn't been the case. It needs to be addressed and it is a huge problem."