Athletics: Russia's international ban - what it means and what's next

A man walking outside the Russian Olympic Committee headquarters and Russian Athletics Federation office in Moscow.
A man walking outside the Russian Olympic Committee headquarters and Russian Athletics Federation office in Moscow. PHOTO: EPA

MOSCOW (AFP) - Athletics giant Russia was provisionally suspended from track and field on Friday over accusations of "state-sponsored" doping as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) scrambled to salvage the sport's credibility just nine months out from the Rio Olympics.

The IAAF Council returned a vote of 22 for and 1 against, the simple majority confirming a suspension for Russia, which was accused of widespread doping by an independent commission set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) in a report which has shaken track and field, one of the Olympic Games' flagship sports.

In that report, commission head Dick Pound, a former president of Wada, called for Russia to be suspended for 2016 "so that they can take the remedial work in time to make sure that Russian athletes can compete under a new framework".

AFP Sport looks at the consequences of the decsion:

1. Athletes and athlete support personnel from Russia may not compete in international competitions including World Athletic Series competitions and the Olympic Games.

2. Russia will not be entitled to host the 2016 World Race Walking Cup (Cheboksary) and 2016 World Junior Championships (Kazan).

3. The All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF) must delegate all outstanding doping cases to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The provisional suspension does not:

1. Prevent athletes in Russia from participating in domestic competitions.

2. Remove or waive the obligations on international-level athletes in Russia to comply with the IAAF Anti-Doping Rules, including continuing to be subject to out-of-competition testing.

What happens next?:

1. Unless ARAF voluntarily accepts a full suspension, the IAAF is entitled to proceed to a full hearing on whether the provisional suspension should be made into a full suspension.

2. To regain membership to the IAAF, the new federation would have to fulfil a list of criteria. An inspection team led by independent chair Rune Andersen, an independent international anti-doping expert, and three members of the IAAF Council, who will be appointed in the next few days.