European Athletics chief expects Russia absence from 2016 Olympics


European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen does not expect Russia to make the required progress in its anti-doping programme in time to be able to feature at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The IAAF suspended the All-Russia Athletic Federation (ARAF) from competition last month amid allegations of state-sponsored doping made in a report published by an independent commission established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Criteria for the ARAF's reinstatement were outlined on December 11 and an IAAF taskforce will visit Russia from January 10-11 to ensure the conditions are being met.

Hansen believes a "cultural change" is needed within Russian athletics and he does not expect it to occur in time for the Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.

"For the moment they have to fulfil the conditions, but I cannot really see them competing in Rio," he told Athletics Weekly.

"We will have the first report to the IAAF in March but for the moment they have to really, really put a lot of effort in to compete in Rio.

"They must have a cultural change. They must get rid of all those people from before.

"The system was such that they have a good result and you're paid more. You get paid by the medals, and the coaches, so it's not really good.

"But I'm sure the good people in Russia will work hard to change this."

However, Hansen is convinced the desire for change will prevail if new officials are brought into Russian athletics.

"They are now working very, very hard to have this improved. They have been faced with very, very tough conditions but I think they want to play along," he continued.

"We know some good people in Russian athletics and I'm sure they will be elected. We hope that some new people will come in who really understand that this must be changed."