Athletics: Interpol to coordinate French-led probe into doping and corruption

AFP/ Reuters - Interpol said on Monday it will coordinate a worldwide investigation led by France into alleged doping and corruption in athletics.

The announcement by the international police body follows the publication of a damning report by the World Anti-Doping Agency's independent commission investigating a number of individuals, including former officials of the International Association of Athletics Federations.

Wada recommended on Monday that the Russian Athletics Federation be banned from the sport over widespread doping offences - a move that could see the powerhouse Russian team banished from Olympic competition.

Here are quotes from the announcement and reaction.

Dick Pound, former head of Wada and author of review:

"It's worse than we thought, it has the effect of factually affecting the results on the field and play and athletes, both in Russia and abroad, are suffering as a result. It may be a residue of the old Soviet system...they must stop it and make a new start.

"If they (Russia) do the surgery, and do the therapy, I hope they can get there (2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics) and compete. The idea is not to exclude people from the Olympics but, sometimes, that's the price you pay. I hope they'll say this is an opportunity to get rid of the old system, get rid of the old coaches and change their ways.

"Some of the things we found were nasty surprises to us and I think (IAAF president) Sebastian Coe is somebody who can grasp this and be transformational enough to bring some change to athletics. Sport is at risk if he doesn't.

"I think the credibility of sport has taken some fairly serious body blows in the last few months with Fifa and its particular forms of corruption. And now the IAAF. And these are two of the most important sports in the world. It doesn't just stop there. Public opinion is going to move towards the view that all sport is corrupt.

"We don't think Russia is the only country with a doping problem and we don't think athletics is the only sport with a doping problem.

"At some point, the Olympic moment and governments will have to say: are we going to do this properly or should we all go home?

"Kenya has a real problem, it's been very slow to acknowledge there is a problem, there is apparently some kind of investigation going on as we speak. If they don't do a good job, somebody else will do a job for them."

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IAAF president Sebastian Coe:

"The information in WADA's independent commission's report is alarming. I have urged the council to start the process of considering sanctions against ARAF. This step has not been taken lightly. We will do whatever it takes to protect the clean athletes and rebuild trust in our sport."

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Acting head of the Russian Athletics Federation Vadim Zelichenok:

"Any suspension should be discussed at the meeting of the IAAF in November. It should be proven that any violations were the fault of the federation and not individual sportspeople. We should be given a chance to clear our names.

"It is only a recommendation."

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