Russian doping scandal

Possible no-go for IAAF in Rio

The International Association of Athletics Federations could face recommendations that include suspension from the Olympics when the second part of the World Anti-Doping Agency's report is released.
The International Association of Athletics Federations could face recommendations that include suspension from the Olympics when the second part of the World Anti-Doping Agency's report is released.PHOTO: EPA

Wada could suggest Games ban in 2nd report as athletics body works on ways to make Moscow comply with rules

SYDNEY • The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) could face recommendations that include suspension from the Olympics when the second part of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (Wada) report is released, according to one of the doping body's independent commissioners.

Any decision to suspend the IAAF from the Games would need to be made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IAAF is reeling from the aftermath of a major doping scandal that has led to Russia's provisional suspension from all competition following a Wada report that uncovered evidence of state-controlled doping in the country.

IAAF president Sebastian Coe has conceded there are "unlikely to be many tomorrows for athletics" and Wada commissioner Richard McLaren did not rule out a provisional suspension for the world governing body of track and field.

"That might well be some recommendations that come forward when we do the second phase of our report," he said when asked if the IAAF could face a possible ban from next year's Rio Games.

"We had to withhold some information relating to the international athletics federation because of the possibility that if we disclosed it, it would jeopardise ongoing criminal enquiries that are being conducted by the French police.

"We really haven't reported on the IAAF so we haven't made the recommendations, we haven't even revealed our findings in relation to the IAAF because of the ongoing sensitivities of the criminal investigation but we will be doing that in the next report."

Former IAAF president Lamine Diack is being probed by the French authorities after the Senegalese was alleged to have received more than €1 million (S$1.53 million) in bribes to cover up positive doping tests of Russian athletes.

In response to McLaren's comments, the IAAF said focus was on making the All-Russia Athletic Federation (Araf) "compliant for re-entry into international competition".

The IAAF indefinitely suspended the Araf on Friday.

"Our job right now is to focus on what needs to be done to make Araf compliant with the IAAF and, together with Wada, compliant for re-entry into international competition," an IAAF statement read.

On Sunday, Russia said it would ask the world track and field body to allow its honest athletes to compete under an Olympic banner - rather than the Russian flag - to circumvent a ban.

But the idea was quickly brushed aside by the IOC.

The IOC has previously allowed independents to compete at Olympic Games in certain cases, such as when an athlete's home country is in transition or subject to sanctions.

When asked if Russian athletes could possibly compete under the Olympic flag, IOC president Thomas Bach said: "This is total speculation, I cannot see this situation occurring at this moment."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2015, with the headline 'Possible no-go for IAAF in Rio'. Print Edition | Subscribe