IAAF bans Russians from Olympics | Track & Field | Eugene, Oregon

LONDON — Calling it a wake-up call for a sport in a “shameful” position, IAAF President Sebastian Coe said Russia will be banned from next year’s Olympics unless it convinces the world that it has cleaned up its act on doping. The sport’s governing body provisionally suspended Russia’s track and field federation on Friday, four days after the country was accused of operating a vast, state-sponsored doping program in a damning report by a World Anti-Doping Agency commission. The move bars Russia from all international track and field competition for an indefinite period, including the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, until the country is judged to have fixed its problems and fallen into line with global anti- doping rules. Coe called the decision — approved 22-1 in a secret vote of the IAAF council via teleconference — “the toughest sanction we can apply at this time.” It’s the first time the International Association of Athletics Federations has ever banned a country over its doping failures. “The whole system has failed the athletes, not just in Russia but around the world,” Coe said after a meeting that lasted nearly 3 1/2 hours. “This has been a shameful wake-up call and we are clear that cheating at any level will not be tolerated.” “It makes me angry,” added Coe, a two-time Olympic 1,500-meter champion from Britain. “We find ourselves in a shameful position tonight.” Coe, who was elected IAAF president in August, had been under heavy pressure to take tough action, despite efforts by Russian officials to avoid a blanket ban by agreeing to cooperate and make reforms in their anti- doping system. “This is not about politics, this is about protection of clean athletes,” Coe said.

Source: IAAF bans Russians from Olympics | Track & Field | Eugene, Oregon