Athletics: Japan anti-doping chief vows all-out efforts to keep out drug cheats in Tokyo Games

Mr Shin Asakawa conducting a doping course and seminar.
Mr Shin Asakawa conducting a doping course and seminar.PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILES

Tokyo (AFP) - Japan's anti-doping chief said Russia's athletes should be kicked out of the Rio Olympics and vowed round-the-clock work to make sure the Tokyo Games will not be "sabotaged" by drug cheats.

Track and field's world governing body IAAF last month voted to suspend Russia's athletics federation after the publication of a World Anti-Doping Agency report that alleged state-sponsored drug use.

The country faces exclusion from Rio if not declared compliant but the Japan Anti-Doping Agency's chief executive officer Shin Asakawa believes the IAAF needs to take a harder line as a deterrent. He declared that Jada would work overtime to help ensure a clean Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

"British newspapers ran headlines saying the London Olympics were sabotaged by Russia, and you can understand those sentiments.

"We have five years and many sleepless nights to make sure that doesn't happen," he added.

"We are confident of a clean Tokyo 2020. But if we can't promise athletes we can banish these doping scandals, then we've lost before the starting gun goes off."

He said there was too little time left for Russian athletics to prove it had put its house in order over doping.

"Can people who were working against the system turn back and pull in the same direction in time (for Rio)? I think it's very difficult.

"But it's hard to ignore calls from Russian athletes protesting their innocence, such as (Yelena) Isinbayeva. That poses a dilemma for (IAAF president) Sebastian Coe."