POSTED: June 22nd 2016

Olympics: WADA continues to support IAAF suspension for Russian athletics at the Rio 2016 Games

The Rio 2016 Games are set to open August 5th in 43 days © Getty Images
The Rio 2016 Games are set to open August 5th in 43 days © Getty Images

(L to R) Sir Craig Reedie WADA President and Dick Pound former WADA President and in charge of the Independent Commission © Getty Images
(L to R) Sir Craig Reedie WADA President and Dick Pound former WADA President and in charge of the Independent Commission © Getty Images

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) stands behind the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Council decision to maintain the suspension of the All-Russian Athletics Federation (ARAF).

WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie, said in a statement, "Further to yesterday's Olympic Summit and the Declaration that resulted, WADA strongly believes that the IAAF decision must be upheld as it was articulated on 17 June by the IAAF Task Force.

"The IAAF Task Force report was clear -- a significant culture change is required among Russian athletes, athlete support personnel, government and sport leaders. 

"It is essential that tough measures be enforced to ensure that those involved understand the gravity of not embracing clean sport. 

"Until the required cultural changes in Russia is well advanced through strong education and prevention programs; supported by independent doping control and robust compliance programs; WADA cannot assure clean athletes of the world that it is reforming." 
"WADA also reiterates its support for the IAAF's proposed rule amendment enabling Russian athletes to apply for eligibility, on an exceptional basis and subject to meeting strict criteria -- in particular having been subjected to credible doping programs outside Russia -- to compete in international competitions, including the Olympic Games, in an individual capacity as neutral athletes.

"WADA also restates its support for the IAAF Task Force's recommendation to favourably consider the request of whistleblower, Yulia Stepanova, to compete as an independent athlete.
"WADA awaits the results of its independent McLaren Investigation, which was formed on 18 May and is examining further allegations of doping in Russia. 

"As captured within the IAAF Task Force report, Professor McLaren advised the Task Force of his 'preliminary findings that there is sufficient corroborated evidence to confirm...a mandatory state-directed manipulation of laboratory analytical results operating within the Moscow-accredited laboratory from at least 2011 forward including the period of the IAAF World Championships in 2013.

"We will see what evidence is exposed via the Investigation in terms of the scale of a state-directed doping program and the sports involved.  If involvement of the state is clearly established, then sports authorities must collectively respond, in an uncompromised fashion; and, ensure that the necessary consequences are put in place to protect clean sport."

The entire McLaren Investigation report is set to be delivered to President Reedie on July 15th and will be published in full within 5 days after it is consigned. Then the President can decide to extend the mandate if he sees it fits the findings in the report.

The ARAF was suspended by the IAAF last November 13 after WADA's Independent Commission led by IOC Member Dick Pound revealed findings of "widespread doping in Russian Athletics".

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · WADA · IAAF · Russia · Rio 2016

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Laura Walden ()

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