Russia Gets IAAF Ban For Doping

It came as a big shock for many when Russia was suspended provisionally on Friday from track and field after being accused of doping. This has come up just 9 months away from the Rio Olympics as IAAF is in a frenzy trying to save the credibility of the sport in a big way. Apparently the doping is being to be a state sponsored affair which adds a whole lot of fuel to the fire.

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“Today we have been dealing with the failure of ARAF (All-Russia Athletic Federation) and made the decision to provisionally suspend them, the toughest sanction we can apply at this time,” IAAF president Sebastian Coe said. “But we discussed and agreed that the whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia, but around the world. This has been a shameful wake-up call and we are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated,” he added.

The decision of the suspension was put forth the 24 among the 27 IAAF Council which was present and chaired by Coe which was easily taken care of via a 22 – 1 voting result. In the WADA report, the commission head Dick Pound said that Russia should be suspended for 2016 year so that their athletes can recover and get back to the levels as stated in the framework. The IAAF also took it seriously and said, “Athletes and athlete support personnel from Russia may not compete in international competitions including World Athletic Series competitions and the Olympic Games”.

In light of this incident, Russia also lost the hosting rights of the 2016 World Race Walking Cup and to regain that, they have to match certain criteria failing which the event will be taken off their hands.

A 335 page WADA report blamed a lot of Russian officials of corruption and taking bribes and also blackmailing the athletes to cover up the positive tests and also destroyed the test samples. Lamine Diack, the ex-IAAF president has been charged with corruption for taking bribes to cover the doping results in Russia.

In some positive news, the Sports Minister of Russia Vitaly Mutko provided a solution to reform the situation once and for all. He proposed forming a new organization that will look into the doping issues if both the WADA and IAAF demands for it. He even suggested arranging for a foreigner to lead the organization to ensure transparency and neutrality in the organization.

“We are ready to cooperate (with the IAAF) so that our athletics is brought up to the norms demanded of us. But let’s do this together. We’re ready to do whatever it takes,” he said.

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The entire incident has been taken notice by the President Vladimir Putin as well and has ordered his own internal investigation on the entire investigation. A huge sports fan himself, the Prez said, “We must do everything in Russia to rid ourselves of this problem.” He was quite the influence in the bid for Russia hosting the Winter Olympics and the 2018 football World Cup.

Other Russian athletes have also come out in support of Russian sports with Pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and Ukraine’s Sergey Bubka requesting the IAAF to not give a collective punishment to all the Russian athletes but only to the guilty ones. Sadly it was not even considered by the IAAF during the entire decision making process.