Harting sceptical Rio 2016 will be clean competition


Olympic discus champion Robert Harting is sceptical Rio 2016 will be a fair Games as athletics continues to reel from a string of doping controversies.

Russia's athletics federation was suspended by the IAAF last November, following allegations of state-sponsored doping made in a report from an independent commission established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The IAAF is expected to rule next month whether Russian athletes will be permitted to take part in the Olympics, while Kenyan athletics has also been embroiled in doping controversies.

Three-time world champion Harting has long been outspoken about doping in the sport and said last year that the IAAF "put money over athletes".

Though Sebastian Coe has since replaced Lamine Diack at the top of the organisation, Harting doubts the Briton's ability to effect change.

He told Omnisport: "That has never been the case, why should it be that way now? 

"That's the way it is. You have to face the situation, you have to accept that there are different customs in different countries. 

"You have to accept that the unification of the whole world brings a lot of differences with it, although it's all actually about the same. 

"But everyone has different methods. You have to deal with that. You learn to deal with conflicts at the Olympic Games."

Harting added on Coe: " I think what is happening right now is the thought many athletes had in Germany five or six years ago: 'if all countries don't stick to it, why don't you change it?'

"Athletics is very interesting in this case, as it has a very wide network of members. But I can't expect western values from a president from a continent with mainly developing countries. 

"That's totally clear. In many countries it's not that advanced, some countries still have the basic version of a market: the exchange. If you give me three cows you get three palm trees. 

"And it's totally clear that these people work the same way in high positions. One shouldn't wonder about that. Sebastian Coe is an instance with western values, so it should actually change.

"I have hardly any confidence in such big institutions. I just hope for it."