Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 10th 2015 Contents A55
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LONDON---The IAAF is giving Russia
until the end of the week to respond
to damning allegations of state-spon-
sored doping before the world govern-
ing body decides whether to suspend
the country from international com-
IAAF President Sebastian Coe said
yesterday he had initiated the process
of considering sanctions against Russia
in the wake of the report by a World
Anti-Doping Agency commission that
accused Russia of systematic doping
"The allegations are alarming," Coe
said. "These are dark days."
The International Association of Ath-
letics Federations will consider suspend-
ing the Russian federation, a move that
could keep Russia s track and field ath-
letes out of next year s Olympics in Rio
"I asked the Russian federation to
report back to us by the end of the week,"
Coe said in a conference call with a small
group of reporters. "I want an expla-
nation for the allegations that have been
made today. That will allow my council
to make a judgment about what the
next step is."
The report by the WADA-appointed
panel, headed by Dick Pound, recom-
mended that Russia be suspended until
it cleans up its act and fully complies
with the World Anti-Doping Code.
In an interview Sunday, Coe had dis-
counted---though not completely ruled
out---the possibility of suspending Russia,
saying he supported "engagement not
But after going through Pound s 323-
page report yesterday, Coe had a change
of heart. He said the allegations were
beyond what he was expecting.
"The report today (yesterday), the
seriousness of what is being said, told
me I need to seek council support to
start the process to consider possible
sanctions," Coe said. "That is not to say
we have presupposed or prejudged but
we need to understand more about this."
"We will act very quickly," he added.
"It could lead to a provisional suspen-
In a written statement, the governing
body said sanctions against Russia could
include "provisional and full suspension
and the removal of future IAAF events."
Asked whether the report drew par-
allels with state-sponsored doping in
the former East Germany, Coe said: "I m
not benchmarking against anything. I
will do everything I can to protect the
clean athletes. This is non-negotiable."
In Geneva, Pound said there may still
be time for Russia to avoid a ban from
the Olympics, if it starts reforming
immediately. That work that will take
at least "several months" and "there are
a lot of people who are going to have
to walk the plank before this happens,"
"I think they can do it. I hope they
can," Pound added.
The report did not delve into the crim-
inal charges lodged against Lamine
Diack, Coe s predecessor as IAAF pres-
ident. Diack and two other people,
including the IAAF s former anti-doping
manager, were detained by French
authorities last week and charged with
corruption involving Russian doping
The International Olympic Commit-
tee s ethics commission yesterday rec-
ommended that Diack be provisionally
suspended as an honorary IOC mem-
ber.The IOC called Pound s report "deeply
shocking" and "very saddening."
The Olympic body said it trusts that
the IAAF "will draw all the necessary
conclusions and will take all the nec-
essary measures," referring to possible
sanctions against Russia.
The IOC said it would carefully study
Pound s report for any violations involv-
ing the Olympics.
"If any infringements on the anti-
doping rules by athletes and or their
entourage should be established, the
IOC will react with its usual zero tol-
erance policy," it said.
Olympic leaders recently agreed that
drug-testing should be taken out of the
hands of sports federations and asked
WADA to take over testing on a global
level. WADA leaders will discuss the
issue at a meeting next week in Colorado
"The IOC will continue to take what-
ever measures needed to safeguard clean
athletes, clean sport and good gover-
nance," the committee said. (AP)
GENEVA---Russian track and field
athletes could be banned from next
year s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
after a devastatingly critical report
accused the country s government
of complicity in widespread dop-
ing and cover-ups.
The World Anti-Doping Agency
commission set up to investigate
doping in Russia said even the
country s intelligence service, the
FSB, was involved, spying on
Moscow s anti-doping lab, including
during last year s Olympics in Sochi.
The commission chaired by Dick
Pound recommended that WADA
immediately declare the Russian
athletics federation "non-compli-
ant" with the global anti-doping
code, and that the IAAF suspend
the federation from competition.
"It s worse than we thought,"
Pound said. "It may be a residue
of the old Soviet Union system."
The IAAF responded immedi-
ately, saying it will consider sanc-
tions against Russia, including a
possible suspension of the athletics
federation that would ban Russian
track and field athletes from inter-
national competition, including the
"If they are suspended --- and it
sounds like the IAAF is moving in
that direction already --- and they
are still suspended, at the time of
Rio there will be no Russian track
and field athletes there," Pound said
after the release of his commission s
He said Russia s doping could be
"They would certainly have
known," he said of Russian offi-
He added: "We have finally iden-
tified one of the major powers as
being involved in this. It s not just
small countries or little pockets.
This is a major sporting country.
It s got to be a huge embarrass-
Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko,
whose ministry was accused by the
WADA probe of giving orders to
cover up doping violations, insisted
Russia s problems are no worse than
in other countries and said Russia
is being persecuted, telling the Inter-
fax news agency: "Whatever we do,
everything is bad."
He threatened to cut all govern-
ment funding for anti-doping work,
saying "if we have to close this
whole system, we would be happy
to" because "we will only save
The acting president of the Russ-
ian athletics federation, Vadim
Zelichenok, said he does not believe
doping there is systematic or that
the government or security services
helped to cover up cases.
The WADA commission said the
International Olympic Committee
should not accept any entries from
the Russian athletics federation until
the body has been declared com-
plaint with WADA s doping code
and a suspension has been lifted.
Pound said there may still be
time for Russia to avoid the "nuclear
weapon" of a ban from the
Olympics, if it starts reforming
immediately. That work that will
take at least "several months" and
"there are a lot of people who are
going to have to walk the plank
before this happens," he said.
"I think they can do it. I hope
they can," he added.
More damaging revelations are
to come. The WADA commission
is also looking at the role senior
officials at the IAAF allegedly played
in bribery and extortion involving
Russian athletes. French authorities
last week detained and later charged
former IAAF President Lamine
Diack with corruption and money
laundering. The WADA commis-
sion s findings on that angle could
come before the end of the year.
The commission accused the
Russian state of complicity. It said
its months-long probe found no
written evidence of government
involvement, but it added: "It would
be naive in the extreme to conclude
that activities on the scale discov-
ered could have occurred without
the explicit or tacit approval of
Russian governmental authorities."
The findings prompted a damn-
ing response from the US Anti-
Doping Agency that brought down
Lance Armstrong, another case that
shattered public faith in sports.
"If Russia has created an organ-
ised scheme of state-supported
doping, then they have no business
being allowed to compete on the
world stage," USADA CEO Travis
The WADA probe found that
agents from the FSB even infiltrated
Russia s anti-doping work at the
Sochi Olympics. One witness told
the inquiry that "in Sochi, we had
some guys pretending to be engi-
neers in the lab but actually they
were from the federal security serv-
Staff at Russia s anti-doping lab
in Moscow believed their offices
were bugged by the FSB and an
FSB agent, thought to be Evgeniy
Blotkin or Blokhin, regularly visit-
ed.This was part of a wider pattern
of "direct intimidation and inter-
ference by the Russian state with
the Moscow laboratory operations,"
the report said.
Pound said Mutko, the sports
minister, must also have known.
"It was not possible for him to
be unaware of it," Pound said.
Mutko, who is also a FIFA exec-
utive committee member and leads
the 2018 World Cup organizing
committee, denied wrongdoing to
the WADA inquiry panel, including
knowledge of athletes being black-
mailed and FSB intelligence agents
interfering in lab work.
The WADA report also said
Moscow testing laboratory director
Grigory Rodchenkov ordered 1,417
doping control samples to be
destroyed to deny evidence for the
It said Rodchenkov "personally
instructed and authorised" the
destruction of evidence three days
before a WADA audit team arrived
in Moscow last December.
The WADA panel said it wanted
to send the Russian athletes sam-
ples to labs in other countries to
detect banned drugs and doping
The panel also raised suspicions
that Russia may have has been
using an obscure laboratory on the
outskirts of Moscow to help cover
up doping, possibly by pre-screen-
ing athletes samples and ditching
those that test positive.
It said whistleblowers and con-
fidential witnesses "corroborated
that this second laboratory is
involved in the destruction and the
cover-up of what would otherwise
be positive doping tests."
The panel also said it does not
believe that the doping problem is
limited to athletics or to Russian
sports. Pound singled out Kenya,
saying it seems the East African
powerhouse of long-distance run-
ning "has a real problem."
"In its considered view," the
commission said, "Russia is not the
only country, nor athletics the only
sport, facing the problem of orches-
trated doping." (AP)
IAAF gives Russia deadline
to respond to doping report
IAAF president Sebastian Coe, left, talks with Lamine Diack former president of
the IAAF. Diack was put under criminal investigation last week on suspicion of
corruption and money laundering amid allegations linking his sons to extorting
money from athletes who tested positive for doping. AP PHOTO
...after hugely critical doping report
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