International Athletics

Ban Russia from Rio

2015-11-18 21:21
Edwin Moses (File)

Colorado Springs - Olympic legend Ed Moses on Wednesday called for Russian track and field athletes to be barred from next year's Olympics as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prepared to rule on the key findings of the scandal.

Two-time Olympic 400m hurdles champion Moses, a member of the WADA foundation board, said a ban on Russian stars from Rio was the only suitable sanction for athletes implicated in the scandal.

"The only sanction is that enough is enough. It is to state loudly and clearly that the Russian athletics team cannot go to Rio," Moses told the meeting.

"Athletes are very concerned -- they want to see the right thing done in this case," Moses said.

Moses said WADA's investigation indicated that doping had spread into other sports in Russia.

"This means that before any talk of Russia becoming compliant, there must be an investigation of every sport," Moses said.

"I had many close friends who had irreplaceable moments stolen from them," Moses said. "My hope is that there is not a generation of athletes that have their dreams stolen from them too."

Beckie Scott, the former Canadian cross-country skier who chairs WADA's athlete committee, backed Moses call for a wider investigation into doping in Russian sport.

"We have been approached from athletes from around the world, and the view we are hearing is 'Why just athletics? Why not all sports?'" she said.

"It's a pivotal moment for WADA. There are a lot of athletes watching and waiting who are counting on the forces of anti-doping to bring their full strength and resolve to this fight."

WADA is expected to rule later Wednesday that Russia's anti-doping agency (RUSADA) has been non-compliant with the global body's code.

It follows the publication of a WADA independent panel report last week that uncovered a vast state-sponsored doping program in Russian track and field, plunging athletics into the biggest crisis in its history.

Pound now said the ball was in Russia's court as to how it chose to respond to the scandal.

"Russia can take the high road out of this issue or respond slowly. It's your call," he told Wednesday's meeting.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on Friday provisionally suspended Russia from events but left the door open for the country's athletes to compete in Rio.

Pound, meanwhile, said the successful uncovering of the Russia scandal showed WADA could be given greater powers to launch investigations across the world in future, describing his probe as a "turning point."

Pound said the investigation "shows that WADA is capable of undertaking investigations on an international basis."

"It's an activity that we should think about seriously in future," he said.

"It means we have to make sure that we have staff with the right qualifications to undertake activities on that scale."

Read more on:    iaaf  |  russia  |  wada  |  athletics

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