Athletics doping: Russia provisionally suspended by IAAF from all international games
It didn’t come as a shock to many when Russia’s athletic federation was provisionally suspended from all international games – including the Olympics – due to its alleged involvement in the widespread athletics doping. The IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) came to this decision after an independent World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) report was published, that alleged “state-sponsored doping”.
In an IAAF meeting, a voting was taken to decide on this issue and the Athletics team of Russia wasn’t allowed to vote. 22 votes were for banning and 1 vote was against. This comes as a good news to many clean athletes and is a wake-up call for the Russian Athletic Federation.
1 The World Anti-Doping Agency’s report
The report by the World Anti-Doping Agency has been explosive and massive as it shows how the Russian athletes cheated the system and it also told about the state-sponsored doping. The report also exposed the testing lab in Moscow that had even destroyed samples. The new IAAF president, Seb Coe said, “whole system has failed the athletes around the world”. He even went ahead to brand it “shameful wake-up call” for the sport.
The report elaborates on how the athletes missed the testing and how some of the test results went missing or how they were destroyed. This has put a huge dent in Russia’s reputation and has agitated athletes worldwide. The repercussions are not going to be easy to deal with, but Russia truly has no other option.
2 What does all this mean for Russia?
As a result of this scandal, Russian athletes cannot enter international competitions, including the World Athletic Series and Rio Olympics, which begin on August 5 next year. Russia also loses its chance to host the 2016 World Race Walking Cup in Cheboksary and also the 2016 World Junior Championships in Kazan.
IAAF also said that unless Russian Athletics Federation (Araf) voluntarily chooses full suspension, it will be entitled to hear the complete proceedings of whether to make the provisional suspension a full one. The public has been voicing its opinion on almost all social media platforms using the #cleansport. Athletes such as Former sprinter Frankie Fredericks, head of the IAAF athlete’s commission, are aware of the repercussions and are willing to face the tough challenges ahead.
The report comes as a game changer for Russia as the 2016-2017 sports calendar looks empty for them. According to IAAF, the only way the situation can improve is a thorough investigation. Hopefully, this incident doesn’t smudge the glory of Russia’s previous achievements.
3 Clean athletes can rejoice
The report from the Wada Commission claims to possess evidence for “direct intimidation and interference by the Russian state with the Moscow laboratory operations” and elaborates on how Russia’s anti-doping agency (Rusada) played a huge role in this corrupt act. Even though it got the test dates in advance, it hid reports and bullied doping control officers. It also took bribes to hide the missed tests.
IAAF considers that the London 2012 was sabotaged by the suspicious athletes’ profile. But this explosion and the findings have made the clean athletes worldwide happy and the exposure has certainly been a positive news.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “The battle must be open. A sporting contest is only interesting when it is honest.”
Even the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wants Russia to co-operate so that they can resolve the issue and make a progress.
4 What does the future hold?
As of now, Wada has recommended 5 athletes and coaches to be banned due to athletics doping allegations and hopes to dig deeper and take all measures to track down any such issue and tackle it. Lord Coe, the President of IAAF has said that the IAAF’s internal review will be “accelerated” as the report quoted the lapses of many IAAF officers.
We can be assured that Wada will enhance ‘whistle blowing process’ and take the anonymity seriously so that such mishaps are reported and the innocent don’t suffer due to the unfair practices adopted by some.