IOC backs IAAF verdict on Russian track and field athletes


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has backed the IAAF's decision to uphold the suspension of Russian track and field athletes just seven weeks before the Rio Games commence.

Athletics' governing body stated on Friday that Russia had not done enough to get the ban, which was imposed following allegations of state-sponsored doping last November, lifted.

The IAAF said some Russian athletes could yet be given the chance to showcase their talents in Brazil, but only by competing as neutrals if they are able to prove that they are clean.

Russia president Vladimir Putin called for the IOC to intervene ahead of its summit on Tuesday, saying clean athletes should not suffer due to the actions of compatriots who committed offences.

But IAAF president Sebastian Coe insisted it was down to his organisation to decide which athletes are eligible to compete and the IOC have now backed the verdict that the suspension should remain.

An IOC statement on Saturday read: "The International Olympic Committee (IOC) welcomes and supports the IAAF's strong stance against doping. This is in line with the IOC's long-held zero-tolerance policy.

"The IOC has taken note of the decision of the IAAF Council and of the report and recommendations of the IAAF Taskforce.

"The IOC Executive Board, in a telephone conference today, emphasised that it fully respects the IAAF position. The eligibility of athletes in any international competition including the Olympic Games is a matter for the respective International Federation. 

"The IOC will initiate further far-reaching measures in order to ensure a level playing field for all the athletes taking part in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.

"The upcoming Olympic Summit on Tuesday will address the situation of the countries in which the National Anti-Doping Organisation has been declared non-compliant by WADA for reasons of the non-efficient functioning of the national anti-doping system."