WADA supports IAAF over Russia ban


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has backed the IAAF's decision to uphold its suspension of Russian athletes from international competition.

Following an IAAF Council meeting in Vienna, athletics' world governing body announced on Friday that Russia had "not met the reinstatement conditions" to have their ban lifted ahead of the Rio Olympics, which begin on August 5.

Russia was initially suspended by the IAAF last November in light of a damning report from an independent commission set up by WADA, which investigated allegations of state-sponsored doping.

However, athletes from the nation have been told they could yet be permitted to compete in Rio on a neutral basis if they can "clearly and convincingly show that they are not tainted by the Russian system", while the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is also set to discuss the matter next week.

A WADA statement read: "The World Anti-Doping Agency fully supports the International Association of Athletics Federation [IAAF] Council decision taken today, at its meeting in Vienna, to maintain the suspension of the All-Russian Athletics Federation [ARAF].

"WADA acknowledges that the suspension means that under IAAF rules, Russian track and field athletes are ineligible to compete in international competitions, including the European Championships and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games."

Craig Reedie, the WADA president, added: "The agency applauds the outcome and the process that the IAAF Council followed by appointing an independent taskforce to evaluate ARAF's compliance.

"WADA is now anticipating the outcomes of its own independent McLaren Investigation that was formed on18 May, which is examining further allegations of doping in Russia. On 15 June, WADA also issued an updated report concerning Russian testing during their period of non-compliance, which outlined very serious limitations to Russia's program.

"In view of today's decision by the IAAF; the allegations that Professor McLaren's team is currently investigating, including their preliminary findings revealing that there is sufficient corroborated evidence to confirm manipulation of athlete doping samples; and, the present status of Russian testing; it is clear that there is a serious need for culture change in Russia within government and among sports leaders, athletes and athlete support personnel."

Professor McLaren's report is set to be delivered to WADA president Reedie by July 15 and will be published within five days of receipt.