Russian track and field athletes may miss the 2016 Rio Olympics Games after their ban from international competition was extended on Friday, with damning accusations made about the country’s lack of anti-doping efforts.
The International Association of Athletics Federations council met in Vienna to discuss lifting the suspension, but made a “unanimous” decision that Russia had not met its requirements in tackling the country’s doping challenges.
Therefore the russian track and field ban stands.
“Although progress has been made significantly, several important criteria were not satisfied,” the head of the IAAF’s independent task force Rune Andersen explained.
Before the announcement was made, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that “there can’t be a collective responsibility for all the athletes or the athletes of a certain federation, if certain individuals have been found using doping. The entire team should not be responsible for those who committed the violation.”
At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin added: “Let me emphasize that we have never supported any violations in sports. “We have never supported that at the state level. And we will never support this. We will never support any doping or any other violations in this area. And we are going to cooperate with all the international organizations in this regard”.
In a statement, Russia’s Ministry of Sport said it was “extremely disappointed” by the IAAF decision to continue with the russian track and field ban. It continued: “Clean athletes’ dreams are being destroyed because of the reprehensible behaviour of other athletes and officials.
They have sacrificed years of their lives striving to compete at the Rio Olympics and now that sacrifice looks likely to be wasted.
“We have done everything possible since the ban was first imposed to regain the trust of the international community. We have rebuilt our anti-doping institutions which are being led by respected international experts.